Helping the Community
NPH is committed to serving not only our family, but the community at large.
NPH founder Fr. William B. Wasson believed that children should learn to be responsible and respond to the needs of others. As a result, all of the NPH homes assist people in their communities in a variety of ways. Following are reports about special outreach programs in the Dominican Republic and El Salvador.
NPH Dominican Republic
Opened in 2003, NPH Dominican Republic is home to over 200 children. The great majority of them come from impoverished communities of sugar cane fieldworkers where staples like power, clean water or even a decent meal are luxuries. NPH DR, as a family, would not be honest to itself and its values, if we ignored the situation of these communities around us, their needs and the reality of our bonds with them. We have never wished to progress on our own. Much to the contrary, we think the bigger the family the better, and more friends the merrier. Proyecto Compartir (“Project Share”) is an opportunity to help our neighbors and for our children to return to their roots.
Currently, Proyecto Compartir is a way for our pequeños to become aware of the needs of others and to sacrifice and share, whenever possible. We organize trips to neighboring towns and visit different communities bringing them food for special occasions like Easter or Christmas. During these times we take a surplus of toys and school items, and recently also took two wheelchairs. Beyond sharing these types of items, children are also encouraged to offer their time to others because we believe the NPH DR family does not end at the limits of our property grounds. Proyecto Compartir also has an educational component: we always try to include nearby communities in our recycling programs and impart our respect for the environment we share.
Through Francisco Reinoso, deacon and coordinator in the house, we have arranged to visit different senior homes. Last time it was the turn of children at Casa Santa Ana, which is the house of girls aged between 14 and 16. We visited an elderly male facility in Quisqueya, which is about 40 minutes away from our home.
It was a moving trip. We shared the afternoon with the grandpas, and the girls also washed their feet to refresh them, and gave pedicures if needed. Afterwards, there was some dancing, singing, and we also offered them a snack. Everybody had a great afternoon. The girls felt the rewards of getting involved, and accepting responsibility towards others.
NPH El Salvador
Opened in 1999, NPH El Salvador is home to nearly 300 children. Its on-site school offers grades K-9 and it has an “Open Classroom” for the youths who arrive with no previous education, as well as a computer lab.
Near our house there is a public school called San José Sompopo, which does not have the ability to offer computer classes. Therefore, from the beginning of last year, we opened the doors of NPH for them to attend classes in our lab. Currently 23 secondary school students are attending classes.
“I had never before used a computer,” said El Sompopo student Antonio López. “We are very grateful to NPH for this opportunity they give us.”
We are happy to be part of the development and education of children, not only from our home, but also the community.
Isabel Puchades, Communication Officer of NPH Dominican Republic, and Gissell Segura, Communication and Project Coordinator of NPH El Salvador, contributed to this article.