News Archive: January - April 2007
Kansas Priest Loses Weight to Raise Money for NPH April 27, 2007
Monsignor Charles McGlinn, a Catholic priest in Leawood, Kansas, and 15 of his parishioners from Curé of Ars parish cut calories to help Nuestros Pequeños Hermanos (NPH), Spanish for Our Little Brothers and Sisters, Mexico. Splitting into five teams, they participated in what they called "The Heavenly Weight Watchers Challenge." They saw the challenge, which took place from February 3 - April 14, 2007, as a "Win, lose situation." By getting sponsors and collecting pledges, they were able to raise over $4,600! Prizes were awarded to the team that lost the most weight as well as the one that raised the most money.
This story was featured on Fox 4 News, Kansas City.
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Teens Learn about the Effects of Substance Abuse April 4, 2007
In late February 2007, Psychologist Livia Arias Chávez from Fundación BEST gave a talk to students in their fourth semester of high school at the Nuestros Pequeños Hermanos (NPH), Spanish for Our Little Brothers and Sisters, home in Mexico. The talk was intended to teach the kids about drugs and their effects, and the lecture focused mainly on cigarette and alcohol usage. Chávez began by having an open discussion about drugs, and she asked the students' opinions about substance abuse.
As the students are at the age where they can be easily swayed by others, a large focus was put on peer pressure and how to avoid it. The group discussed the definitions of alcoholism and drug addiction and took a deep look into the consequences of drug use. Chávez gave a powerful presentation about the effects of addiction and explained how drugs can influence many aspects of life.
The group also learned about signals that can sometimes identify a drug addict and what to do when someone needs help. Finally, prevention was stressed above all remedies for addiction. Friends of the Orphans and NPH would like to thank Livia Arias Chávez and Fundación BEST for taking time to discuss this important subject with the children.
Videos of All NPH Homes Are Now Online March 7, 2007
In late 2006, Shannon Taggart, a professional video producer from New York and volunteer at Nuestros Pequeños Hermanos (NPH), Spanish for Our Little Brothers and Sisters, Honduras, travelled to all nine NPH homes and made short videos of them.
Watch the videos
Minnesota Man Helps Orphans Get Eye Surgeries January 19, 2007
Working with the Minnesota regional office of Friends of the Orphans, Nestor Jaramillo arranged for five children from Nuestros Pequeños Hermanos (NPH), Spanish for Our Little Brothers and Sisters, El Salvador to come to the United States for surgery. All five suffer from strabismus, more commonly known as cross or unaligned eyes, which can cause them to have headaches and double vision. Corrective surgery for this condition is not available in El Salvador. Friends of the Orphans arranged for host families while Nestor donated plane tickets and found eye surgeons to perform the operations for free. The children, who range in age from 4 to 18 years old, arrived in the Twin Cities on January 18, 2007. They returned to El Salvador on January 22.
This story was featured on the WCCO Channel 4 News.
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From Father Ron Hicks, NPH Regional Director of Central America
January 29, 2007
I just returned from a vacation ... I always love returning to our NPH Home here in El Salvador. However, this time was even more special to see our five children who went to Minnesota for their eye surgery. They look so fantastic.
Yesterday, I had the opportunity to be with all five of them. We hung out together and I simply listened as the ALL bubbled over with their stories and adventures about their trip to Minnesota.
Here are a few highlights.....
I saw Estela and Vanessa at the same time. Estela immediately ran up to me with the biggest smile and gave me a hug and kept on saying, "Gracias Padre."
Vanessa, on the other hand, saw me and turned and went the other way. She reappeared about 10 minutes later. In those ten minutes, she changed into her nicest clothes with her hair pulled back in a pony-tail. She approached me like a princess. She was so happy with her new look and wanted me to see her looking her best. It was the first time I have ever seen her with her hair not covering her face and making eye contact instead of shyly looking down or away.
The three boys LOVED the snow. The couldn't stop talking about their own experiences....but mostly, they were telling me what the others did.
For example, "He cried on the plane. He ate a lot of ice cream. I ate cereal in the morning, but he wanted to eat pizza in the morning!"
I realize that it was a tedious process for all of us to make this all happen, however, seeing them yesterday more than confirmed for me that it was all worth it. Thank you for your support, generosity, patience and perseverance. You have given these children a life-long gift. Also, please thank everyone involved. We are all very grateful.
May God bless you always.
Father Ron Hicks
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Friends and NPH Grieve for Maria Eugenia January 16, 2007
After a difficult struggle with leukemia, a beloved daughter died of a stroke.
Yesterday was a very sad day for everyone at Friends of the Orphans and Nuestros Pequeños Hermanos (NPH), Spanish for Our Little Brothers and Sisters, because an angel said good-bye. 20-year-old Maria Eugenia died of a stroke.
Maria was abandoned at a very young age by both her parents because she suffered from leukemia. Her aunt tried to care for her but was unable to do so because of Maria's medical condition, so she brought her to NPH Nicaragua - one of the nine NPH homes supported by Friends of the Orphans. She later lived at NPH Mexico and Guatemala which were better able to provide her with the care she needed. Maria received a bone marrow transplant in Nuremburg, Germany where she received excellent medical care and treatment and she seemed to recover well.
After about three months of rehabilitation, she returned to NPH Guatemala where her physical conditions worsened again. Finally, Maria did not have the strength to fight her illness anymore and passed away at 4 in the afternoon in a hospital in Guatemala City.
A mass and funeral were held in San Andres Itzapa on January 16. May Maria rest in peace.
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Third NPH Honduras University Student Graduates January 15, 2007
Overcoming physical challenges, Chepe achieved goals he set for himself long ago.
On December 13, 2006, the third student from the Nuestros Pequeños Hermanos(NPH), Spanish for Our Little Brothers and Sisters, home in Honduras graduated from university. José Saul, known by friends as "Chepe," graduated with a degree in Finance after completing a five-year program. Chepe joined NPH Honduras at the age of the 10 from a hospital in Tegucigalpa, where he was basically abandoned after both parents died. His success is especially impressive because he suffers from Pott’s Disease, a result of Tuberculosis which leads to severe spinal damage.
“The goal of NPH is that young people finish their education and leave with a degree,” says José Saul, 27. “I’m proud to be able to do that and thankful for all the opportunity that NPH has given me.”
Chepe, who studied commercial business and accounting in high school, has had plenty of opportunities to share his advice with his younger brothers and sisters. He was the coordinator of the student houses in Tegucigalpa, a continuation of the job he held in his third Year of Service to NPH.
“Success has a lot to do with self-motivation, determination and especially direction,” says Chepe. “I think one of the main reasons I was able to stick it out with my education is because I really enjoy what I studied.”
Chepe’s ultimate goal is to work as an analyst, tracking earnings and expenses and helping to make a company profitable. Currently, he is assisting the NPH Honduras administrative office and the higher education coordinator with managing expenses. He hopes to then go on to work at the Central Bank of Honduras.