Marie shares why she loves Christmas at NPH El Salvador
Our children are really looking forward to Christmas this year. While the pandemic means that Christmas will be a little different this year, our kids will still be able to enjoy the nativity play, breaking open piñatas, receiving gifts, Christmas mass and a special dinner.
One of our ‘big kids’, 20-year-old Marie*, really enjoys the Christmas season. “I really love Christmas. It’s a moment to give and receive love. My favourite part is Christmas Eve mass. I am so grateful to God for all I have, so I really enjoy celebrating his birth. To be honest, I also love receiving gifts!”
Marie is enjoying her first year at the University of El Salvador, where she studies Accounting. When Covid19 hit, Marie and her fellow university students came back from the city to help the younger kids at our NPH home. Fortunately, she’s been able to study online this year.
Marie joined our NPH family when she was 13-years-old. Like all of the kids that we support, Marie had a difficult start in life. Her father abandoned her family when she was just a baby. She grew up with her mother and grandparents in extreme poverty. When Marie* turned 11 she moved with her mum to a different part of the country.
When they arrived in their new hometown they were shocked that it is run by competing gangs. It was very dangerous with innocent people often caught in the crossfire. Adding to their difficulties, Marie’s mum was born deaf. This made it hard for her to find a stable and safe job. Marie remembers how her mum would leave her alone at home all day without food, while she went out to find work. It was hard for Marie to watch other kids heading off to school. She would pray that she could join them one day.
“I felt so scared and lonely at home alone all day,” Marie remembers. As her situation worsened, Government Social services were alerted to her situation and stepped in to provide Marie with a more stable upbringing. Marie joined our NPH family when she was 13-years-old, while remaining in close contact with her mum and grandparents.
Marie soon realized that NPH El Salvador provided everything that she needed to achieve her dreams. She is very grateful for all she has received at NPH. Growing up in extreme poverty, healthcare and education were considered a luxury.
Marie is due to graduate from university in 2025. This is very much a dream come true for Marie and her family. “I have always been good at mathematics and solving problems. One day, I would like to run my own business. I know I have the right skills, which I wouldn’t have achieved without NPH’s support.”
From time to time, Marie visits her biological family who are receiving support from NPH during these difficult times. “NPH have given me a new family, but my own family are still very close to my heart. I like to visit them often, but the lockdown has made it complicated. It’s a personal goal of mine to help my family. With support from NPH I am on course to achieving this.”
It has been an extremely challenging year for the people of El Salvador. The NPH family has been busy sending out food packages, hygiene packs and additional support to families who have found themselves in difficult circumstances.
Thank you for helping us bring the joy of Christmas to many vulnerable children and families in El Salvador at this challenging time.
If you’d like to help children in need, check out our NPH Christmas Gifts.