A family since 1954

On a hot summer day in 1954, Father William Wasson was greeted by a parishioner who was upset that a thief had stolen from the chapel’s charity box.

Fr. Wasson went down to the local police station and was shocked to find a young boy. “I’m sorry Father but I was hungry and my parents have abandoned me. I didn’t know what to do,” the boy cried.

Fr. Wasson asked the court to show mercy. He asked the judge for his custody. By the end of the year 32 boys were in Fr Wasson’s care and Nuestros Pequeños Hermanos (NPH, Spanish for “Our Little Brothers and Sisters”) was born.

Always concerned with the needs of the poor

Born on December 21, 1923 in Phoenix, Arizona, Father William Wasson was always concerned about the needs of the poor. He received his MA in law and social sciences at San Luis Rey University, Santa Barbara, California. He then travelled to Mexico, where he was ordained a priest in 1953 by the VII Bishop of Cuernavaca.

Father Wasson: 50 years of service to children

Father Wasson dedicated 50 years of his life to serving as a father, provider and teacher to more than 18,000 vulnerable children. NPH now operates homes in 9 countries: Bolivia, Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Guatemala, Haiti, Honduras, Mexico, Nicaragua, and Peru. Fr Wasson has received international recognition for his humanitarian work.

On August 16th, 2006, surrounded by the NPH children he loved so dearly, Father Wasson died in Cottonwood, Arizona. His legacy lives on through more than 6000 children who receive NPH’s support across Latin America. His values are upheld through the thousands of community services that NPH provides each year to vulnerable families.

If you are interested in the history of NPH, you may like to check out the ‘Orphan’s Father’ series on Youtube. Here is Part-1 (of 3) below:

How did NPH come to New Zealand?

In 2011 Kristina Cavit returned to New Zealand after two years volunteering at NPH Dominican Republic. She wanted to do something to help the children she had grown to love.

After the success of a few fundraising events Kristina decided to start the Charitable Trust, NPH New Zealand.

In 2016, former volunteer Loren O’Sullivan became the new Director of NPH New Zealand. You can hear her story in the video below.