I am a member of the Upper Midwest Region Associate Board for NPH. I became involved with NPH during college when I joined the NPH club on the Notre Dame campus and traveled to the Honduras ranch for a week. Since then, my husband and I have started sponsoring Vicente*, a pequeño from Honduras. We have both returned to the ranch to visit him and to help at the Holy Family Surgery Center. Vicente, although shy upon first meeting him, loves to clown around and make everyone laugh. We've loved getting to know him, and cannot wait to get back to Honduras to visit him. Here's a picture of my husband and I with Vicente when we gave him a tour of the surgery center!
My name is Bridget Holtz, and I spent 19 months volunteering with NPH USA in Haiti, from August of 2011 through March of 2013. My primary focus while in Haiti was to teach three Haitian nurses how to administrate the clinic at the Angels of Light Program. The little one in the picture with me is Daphnee*, who had parasites and severe emotional trauma after suddenly being separated from her mother. Daphnee was terrified of being held, was withdrawn and irritable, and cried constantly. I was very concerned when I first met her, because medical tests showed little physically wrong. So, we undertook a healing program for her, treating her parasites, assigning one staff member to be her "mom," and loving her as much as possible. Within weeks, we saw a massive change in her, and she became my shadow through my entire sojourn; Daphnee was at my side or in my arms. Daphnee has the kindest, gentlest personality. Thanks to your tremendous support, these children are excelling at life, receiving an education and much-needed guidance, and are experiencing love and stability. Such crucial elements to life are in rare supply in their impoverished home neighborhoods and broken families. These children are the future of Haiti.
During my first year volunteering in 2003 at NPH Nicaragua, I became inseparable with these adorable twins named Gracia* and Emilia*. At barely two years old, they had come to NPH severely malnourished, and in need of some serious love. I spent practically every minute that year with them. After finishing college in 2006, I returned for another year with NPH. This time my husband and I were tios (the main caretakers) of eleven of the orphanage’s youngest boys. I managed to still spend lots of time with Gracia and Emilia, and I was so proud of how they had grown into excited young readers. I was lucky enough to spend yet another year in Nicaragua in 2013. At thirteen years old, Gracia and Emilia are currently the top students in their grade. They dream of studying together at university, and I believe they can do it!
*Aliases are used for all children's names to protect their privacy.