Marlen’s first Christmas at NPH Mexico
. It’s been a tough year in Mexico due to the Covid19 pandemic. Our kids are looking forward to some Christmas cheer as they start to decorate their homes and practice the nativity play.
Marlen* is one of our kids who’s excited to spend her first Christmas at NPH Mexico. Like 40% of our children, Marlen comes from Guerrero, the second poorest State in Mexico. With a population of over 3.5 million people, 66% live in poverty, with little or no access to education, healthcare, good nutrition and basic services like water and electricity.
Guerrero is also known for its violence, being a hotbed in Mexico’s war on drugs, with poppy and marijuana fields forming part of the illicit trades throughout the state.
Marlen grew up in poverty, a situation made harder when her mum abandoned the family due to personal problems. Her father struggled to care for her and found it even harder when Marlen’s school shut down because of the insecurity.
The pandemic has made the situation for children in Guerrero even more precarious. Many schools have shut which means kids are often left at home alone for long periods, domestic violence has increased, unemployment is rising even higher and there’s no government help. Parents are worried that their children will join the gangs. Others have no choice but to send their children off to work in order to put food on the table.
Marlen says that she feels grateful, both to God and to NPH, for allowing her to have a safe place to live and study. She also thanks everyone who supports the NPH family because, “nothing would be the same without your help,” she smiles.
Marlen wants to make the most of her opportunities at NPH so that she can help her family. “I want to be a nurse in the future,” she says. “I like taking care of people and seeing them get better.”
Marlen has plenty of ‘older brothers and sisters’ to look up to. This year 61 of our students graduated from high school and 16 young adults graduated from university. Many of these children come from Guerrero and will go on to make a difference in their communities.
This year has been challenging at NPH Mexico, but thanks to your generous donations we have been able to provide the kids with a happy lockdown experience. There has been plenty of good food, homeschooling and fun times on our large property which includes a farm, basketball courts, playgrounds, a beautiful garden, a chapel, a school, fruit trees, a fish farm and even a swimming pool! Our kids are especially grateful that Kiwi donors have stepped up and helped meet two unexpected bills this year – fixing their greenhouse and walk-in freezer.
Marlen and the kids at NPH Mexico are looking forward to Christmas even though it will be a bit different because of the pandemic. There will still be plenty of games, gifts and time to reflect on the silver linings and blessings of 2020.
Marlen is excited about receiving a gift from Santa. However, when asked what she wants, she says, “The best gift of all would be an end to the pandemic.”
Thank you for helping us bring Christmas joy to vulnerable children and families in Mexico at such a challenging time.
Please check out our NPH Christmas Gifts to help children like Marlen.