Sunday, 7 October 2012

Paradox

“I have found the paradox, that if you love until it hurts, there can be no more hurt, only more love.” -Mother Teresa 

 

Here is an article written by Avriel Burlot - a communications volunteer in the Dominican Republic. Avriel has been at the home for over a year now and is planning on completing a second year as well. She is one of the best volunteers the NPH DR home has- from her smile, ability to get many things done at once and her love for the children.

 

 

That weekend Kristen, Madelon and I went to Batey Monte Cristi, La Varsa and Nuevo to play with the kids there.  These are all areas I’m sure sound familiar because I mention them a fair amount on the blog but over the year I have gotten to know some of these kids and families very well.  We played with bubbles, read Dr. Seuss and colored.  These kids define the idea of enjoying the simplest things. That was pretty much the highlight of the weekend and the rest was just some relaxing, girls night and prepping for Haiti.



To preface this next part though, one of my kiddos in Santa Maria just recently passed away.  His last few weeks were hard and I haven’t really been able to process it all, let alone write about it, until ahorita (nowish).  Two weeks ago Berhman was in the hospital again and the doctor in Santo Domingo said that there was nothing more we could do and he was reaching his last days.  Normally when our Santa Maria children leave back to Haiti they take the bus but Berhman wouldn’t have been able to make that trip so we got him on the next flight out. My last hour with my little man was spent him resting on my lap and the two of us singing to Justin Bieber (a common pass time of ours when he was in the hospital too).  This is how I want to remember him, his genuine smile and overall strength to go through what no one should ever have to go through.  The good byes at the airport were rough but he made it on the flight safely and was soon after in the loving arms of his father.  This was two Tuesday’s ago. 

That following Monday I was off to Haiti again.  We arrived after a long ride and complications at the border and the first piece of news I was given was that Berhman had passed away that morning at 6AM.  He was surrounded by his family and loved ones and thanks to the doctors, he was able to pass peacefully and I hope painless.  He’ll always be my little man and I miss him so much already but at the same time I know he is in a better place. 
I let this information saturate but I had to keep moving along with what I needed to do in Haiti.  The week was good.  Productive meetings with the doctors and social workers, playing cards with my kids in the hospital and at FWAL, soccer and even a few hours up at Kenscoff. Also, we had a Santa Maria reunion and nearly ten of my kids who have passed through the program were all together, with their mothers, at the same time.  All happy and healthy.  I was so happy that I nearly cried.  Pause, I did cry.  This program, Casa Santa Maria, is fuerte but I love it with all of my heart.  It does embody the quote that I mentioned above. 






So Haiti came and went and then I was back in the DR.  Everyone is doing well here.  One of the older boys in my house moved up to an older boys house and we got a new kiddo, SANTOS! We went to the beach on Saturday which was a blast but sadly cut short due to a big storm.  Also, Nicki, an ex volunteer, is back to visit and we are going to hopefully do some fun house activities with her. 






Sending tons of love home and it has been decided that I will be home for a little vaca in late winter! WOO!



Avriel Burlot



Everybody Wants a Thrill 
http://avrieldr.blogspot.com/ 

Friday, 31 August 2012

Mt. Hobson School is AWESOME

Below is an article on the children of Mt. Hobson School in Auckland. We more than appreciate their love and support!!! They are ROCKSTARS!!!

Students at Mt Hobson School in Auckland have started a 6 week personal running challenge to raise money for orphaned and abandoned children in Latin America and the Caribbean.  
The students run 1km every Friday and record their best times, adding these together until they have their best 10km time. 

Mt Hobson’s principal, Alwyn Poole, needs to beat the fastest time at the 10km Barry Kurtis fun run in November, or treat the students to lunch.The students have been given an individual fundraising goal of $100 each; which will go to helping the children of NPH.


Sandy & Brito sending their support!


NPH New Zealand was established in 2012 to help provide education, healthcare, and a loving family home to orphaned, abandoned and abused children around Latin America and the Caribbean.
NPH’s first home was established in Mexico in 1954 by Father William Wasson. NPH has since expanded to have homes in 9 countries across the region and has helped save and raise over 25,000 children in its homes and hospitals. NPH’s mission is to give hope to these homeless and abandoned children, and provide them with the training, resources and support to become valued members of the community and end this cycle of poverty and abandonment.

NPH New Zealand is constantly looking for volunteers, sponsorship and assistance with fundraising initiatives like that of Mt Hobson School. Current projects include schooling and medical assistance in Peru and Bolivia, health education in the Dominican Republic and and continuous care and education of the children.


Friday, 6 July 2012

Update and Testimony from fellow kiwi Laura Wilson

These past couple of weeks have been busy, busy, busy working to
support our children of NPH. The turnout of volunteers, donors, and
support is rapidly increasing and we could not be more grateful for
our supporters.
The harsh realities of the economic crisis are affecting the lives of
children around the world - the NPH Honduras home was hit with an
unexpected government mandated minimum wage increase of 69%. Food,
clothes, educational materials–everything from beans to batteries have
gone up in price but NPH will not close it's doors to children in
need.  This crisis situation meant we needed to spring into action and

this past week, we held an event, Talking Trends, and the turnout was
absolutely fabulous.
Over 100 people came and listened to guest speakers Jeremy Hansen,
Editor of HOME NZ magazine and Debbie Cavit, interior designer
and
owner of Cavit&Co. Guests learned all about the latest trends in

fashion, interior design and architecture over a glass of wine.

The very entertaining Stephen from Harcourts gave the crowd the chance
to put their bidding hands into action on a number of auction items
including jewellery from Wunderkammer, boutique accommodation in
Arrowtown and Terrace Down's Resort,make up from Glamorpuss and a
tango dinner show at Besos Latinos restaurant.

NPH New Zealand would not be where we are today without the love and
support from our donors. We want to thank to everyone who attended our
event! It was a very successful evening & a lot was learnt about
emerging trends. We also want to thank Suzanne, a gracious donor and

supporter of our children who donated $1,000 to improve the lives of
the children at NPH. A very special thanks to guest speakers Jeremy
Hansen, Debbie Cavit,  Glengarry for sponsoring the delicious wine,
Besos Latinos for catering & the amazing NPH volunteers!

With that, I want to share a testimonial from the inspiring kiwi,
Laura Wilson, who spent her summer months at NPH Dominican Republic

giving back to the children of NPH. Laura left her mark at NPH
Dominican Republic through her summer course of dance, especially when
the songs “Waka Waka” or “Boom Boom Pow” are played. To this day, the

children continue to do the dances Laura taught them the summer she
was here, which was 2 years ago.


 

My name is Laura Wilson from New Zealand. I first heard about Nuestros Pequenos Hermanos when I was living in Chile, teaching English. I had already spent a year in Brazil on exchange when I was 17 so I had seen some of the harsh realities of Latin American poverty, which was unlike anything I had ever seen in New Zealand. I had volunteered in an after-school childcare centre for children living in poverty and had loved it, so when I a good friend told me about NPH and then another friend, Krisitna Cavit actually went to the Dominican Republic and lived at one of the homes, I knew it was something I wanted to be apart of.



I applied to work over the Dominican Summer, which starts late June, as a dance/aerobics instructor. When I walked onto the grounds of NPH I was instantly taken aback. I couldn’t believe how beautiful it was and how happy and healthy the children were. I think a lot of people envisage that an orphanage will be a terribly sad and depressing place, just as I had, but it was the complete opposite! The children were so full of life and energy, and I was amazed at how organized and beautiful the grounds were.

I spent around two months working and living with the children. During the week I taught dance and on the weekends we did different activities, such as sports, treasure hunts and movie nights. I loved every second of it and definitely plan to go back to either visit or work in the near future. Their lives were very simple by comparison, but they had everything they needed from education to dental care. I was blown away by the support from individuals around the world, at NPH I really learnt that a little can go a long way



I was also impressed by how much responsibility the children were given. They were taught to help serve dinners, wash their clothes and clean the bathrooms. From the get go they are taught to be responsible for their actions and be independent young men and women. The other volunteers were also of a high standard. The application process is very professional so volunteers must be very passionate and hard working to get accepted, which is really comforting. All the people I worked with were incredibly dedicated and loving people.
I have found that some people I talk to in recent years have lost faith in NGO’s saying that they can’t trust where their money goes and that too much of it just gets spent on marketing and salaries. However, after having experienced NPH first-hand, I can truly say that every penny is well spent and these children are so incredibly grateful to get the financial help they need from the more fortunate. Anybody who gets the opportunity to work at one of the NPH homes or support a NPH child will not regret it. It was an incredible experience and I learned just as much from these beautiful children, if not more, than they did from me.
 
Laura Wilson

Summer Volunteer at NPH-DR in 2010



Monday, 28 May 2012

The Beginning


Kia Ora,

My name is Kristina Cavit and I have just started a fundraising office
for the children of Nuestros Pequeños Hermanos (NPH), Spanish for Our
Little Brothers and Sisters. I want to share with You my story, my experience
volunteering for NPH Dominican Republic, and how the New Zealand office came
to be. Enjoy!

In 2009, I was travelling through South America and I had a chance
to spend a day at a notorious Bolivian slum known for it’s gangs, underage
prostitution and poverty. After that day I knew I wanted to do something,
I wanted to help, and I began searching for a long-term way to help these
children.

A friend told me about an organization called NPH, Nuestros Pequeños
Hermanos. What intrigued me about this organization is that it’s helping children
to get off the streets by empowering them through education. NPH provides
shelter, medicine and education to abandoned, abused, and orphaned children
throughout Latin America. There are nine homes within Latin America and the
Caribbean giving over 3,500 children a place to call home.

I liked the NPH philosophy that insures these children have a loving
family and a future; the children are taught trades so they can find jobs and
become productive members of society breaking the cycle of poverty. NPH
caught my attention because they do not put the children up for adoption, but
keep all siblings together so they can become part of a safe and stable family at
NPH. The concept of family is the focal point of this organization and why there
is such a strong sense of connectivity throughout the home and it’s relationships
with one another, godparents, donors, and volunteers.

When I arrived at the home in the Dominican Republic, I had no idea what to
expect and I found myself simply in awe of the home. I asked myself many questions,
including “How did this group of local staff and volunteers from around the world
come together to create this loving environment for these children?”
The children are simply so happy and to the eye, it is not easy for one to
imagine the pain they have suffered in the past. They arrive at NPH from situations
that we cannot imagine; many have been victims of extreme physical and emotional
abuse and have often been left to raise themselves without access to clean water,
electricity, medicine, or food.

During my time, I was fortunate to wear many hats which in turn, gave
me the opportunity to get to know all of the children. I was not only the Project
and Communications coordinator, but I also helped the children to plant yucca,
taught them to swim in the ocean, managed medical projects, sung songs of grief at
Dominican and Haitian funerals, laughed, wiped tears, and every day I was able to
spend time with over 200 generous and loving children. I was in awe in how these
children have few material things but they have this unique ability to give and love
endlessly. This simply taught me to appreciate every day for what it is.
I am so grateful to these children for welcoming me into their family and

leaving me with memories of the daily in’s and out’s at NPH; Daysi’s never ending
giggling, Angel’s stopping me in the road for a big bear hug, finding little notes in my
bag every night and Rosita slipping her little hand into mine on the walk home.

Volunteering in a developing country, you never know what to expect and
when the Haiti earthquake hit the whole island was in devastation. We helped with
the relief effort and sent urgent medical supplies, food, water and volunteers and then
one-day cholera hit the Dominican Republic. Thanks to the help of a group of Kiwis,
I was able to raise enough funds to provide cholera & hygiene workshops to the
neighboring Haitian migrant worker camps.

Throughout my time at NPH in the Dominican Republic, Haiti, Nicaragua and
Honduras - I was hit with the same truth – international support, along with the NPH
volunteers and staff, is what saves these children’s lives. Together with everyone
doing their own part, bit by bit, we can help the children of our future to break free
from poverty. I welcome you to become a part of the NPH family and help to give
these children a chance they deserve for the future.

Until Next Time,

Kristina