Christmas is a happy time of year for our kids, especially for 19-year-old Belen who joined our NPH family ten years ago.
“I grew up in a very poor neighbourhood with my grandma,” she remembers.
Belen never knew her father and had only met her mother a few times before she passed away in 2014. Both her parents were alcoholics, and neither could care for the children. Fortunately, Belen’s grandmother, Norma, welcomed her four grandchildren into her home. However, over time Norma found it increasingly difficult to care for them on her own. The kids struggled at school, unable to read or write, and it became very difficult to put food on the table. Norma asked NPH for help.
Belen and her siblings joined our NPH family in 2010. It took Belen a while to adapt and make new friends. However, ten years later, Belen has many close friends who she regards as her brothers and sisters. The NPH family now means everything to her.
“Thanks to NPH, I have a better life today. I can read, write and I have the necessary experience to understand the world we live in. This helps me to set realistic goals and to visualise a better future for myself. I am deeply happy to be part of the NPH family!” Belen says with a big smile.
Belen still maintains a strong relationship with her grandma who now lives close to our home and visits often. Our OneFamily Reintegration programme has meant that two of Belen’s siblings have chosen to live with their grandma while still receiving assistance from NPH.
As Christmas approaches, the feeling of joy swells among the children at NPH Guatemala. Belen loves this special time of the year. All the boys and girls play their part in decorating their living quarters, common areas and the church, creating a happy Christmas atmosphere.
Belen’s favourite part of Christmas is when the kids sit around a bonfire and enjoy the warmth, listening to Christmas carols and toasting marshmallows.
“It’s beautiful. I love seeing all the children’s faces illuminated with joy. It’s a very special moment. It’s really nice to be part of the NPH family, especially around Christmas time. I give thanks to God for the privilege to grow and develop myself, which wouldn’t have been possible without NPH,” she confides.
This year Christmas will be celebrated differently in our home and within the families that we support. It has been a tough year with lots of restrictions, physical distancing, bubbles and hygiene practises. For many families in our surrounding communities Covid19 has cemented the hardship they face every day. At NPH Guatemala we have been working tirelessly to provide food parcels, care packages, hygiene packs and home-schooling workbooks to children in our communities. We are committed to helping as many families as we can through this difficult time.
Belen says that, “Despite the pandemic I hold a lot of hope that 2021 will be a great year with lots of joy and happiness. I hope it comes with big opportunities for me and my brothers and sisters.”
This year Belen will finish her high school education and ‘year of service’ at NPH. Next year she will study psychology at university. In the future she would like to help children and youth who find themselves in difficult situations like herself.
Thank you for helping us bring the joy of Christmas to many vulnerable children and families in Guatemala at this challenging time.
Please give a NPH Christmas Gift to help a child in need.