This year has been challenging because of the pandemic, changes to our programmes at NPH Nicaragua and two hurricanes in November. NPH is committed to helping your sponsored child and their family, so they can receive a good education, adequate healthcare and emotional support.

I would like to share with you the story of the Sanchez family to show you how our family reintegration programme OneFamily has been a success over the last four years in Guatemala. In January I will be in touch to give you an update on your sponsored child, their family’s situation and whether they will accept the support we will offer them through our OneFamily programme.

The virtues of this program are never more evident than during the holiday season, when OneFamily families enjoy the benefit of celebrating Christmas with their loved ones, with financial, nutritional, and other support given by NPH.

The Sanchez family live in the remote village of Parabjey, high up in the Guatemalan Highlands of Chimaltenango. This family of six lives in a humble residence fashioned from sun-dried brick, branches, and sheet metal in an indigenous Mayan community where the primary spoken language is Cakchiquel.

“Before, I didn’t know how I was going to pay to send my kids to school,” says Juan, the father of the family. “But now, we can’t repay God for all that NPH has given us.”

Two older children from the Sanchez family, Jimmy and Melinda, used to live at our NPH home in Guatemala. In 2016 we introduced our OneFamily programme to ensure that the children could return to live with their biological families, with continued financial support provided by NPH. Our OneFamily programme provides the family with financial support for the children’s medical, nutritional and educational expenses. Our NPH social workers visit the family regularly to give them this support and to make sure the kids are doing well.

For the Sanchez family, who are Christians, Christmas is a time to reflect on the blessing of being together as a family.

Their Christmas celebration begins when the family rises early in the morning to collect pine needles. They lay needles on the floor, filling the air with a festive aroma that would be familiar in many parts of the world during the holiday season.

With the decorations in place, attention is turned to the food. The family will prepare a hearty chicken stew, which simmers for hours and can be topped with chilli sauce for an extra kick. Dumplings and traditional meat-filled tamales will also be made alongside tortillas of course! It’s tradition for the family to sit down and eat at midnight on the 24th of December.

 “Without the kindness of donors from all over the world, we simply wouldn’t be able to celebrate Christmas,” Juan says.

With the kids getting older, NPH will support them through their university studies. Melinda is excited about the chance to go to university as no one else from her village has ever had this opportunity. Her motivation is to get a good job so she can support her family and her community.  Juan, her proud father says, “We are eternally grateful.”

This Christmas our kids in Nicaragua will be celebrating with their families.

If you would like to help vulnerable children and families this Christmas, check out our NPH Christmas Gifts.