The Nuestros Pequenos Hermanos (NPH) visited Holy Family Parish last week as part of their annual trip to Massachusetts.
The program was started in 1954 after a boy was arrested for stealing from a small church in Cuernavaca, Morelos, Mexico. A young priest chose not to press charges and instead took custody of the boy. By year’s end, 32 homeless children were sent to the priest, and Nuestros Pequenos Hermanos, Spanish for “Our Little Brothers and Sisters,” began.
To date, over 17,900 children have grown up in the NPH family. Over 3,000 children from Bolivia, the Dominican Rebpuclic, El Salvador, Guatemala, Haiti, Honduras, Mexico, Nicaragua and Peru are being cared for. The mission is to transform the lives of abandoned and disadvantaged children with homes, healthcare and educational programs.
The Pequenos visited Holy Family Parish last weekend and participated in Mass by dancing and singing. Two of the children also spoke about their experience with NPH.
Daniela Rios Gomez, 15, is in the ninth grade. She joined NPH when she was 10 with her sister Dulce, who is now 17.
“My family did not have the resources that would allow me to go to school and I did not have the attention and love that a child needs from their parents,” she said. “We didn’t have food or money to buy anything we needed each day.”
Gomez said her mom worked but was not able to earn very much, so the children did not go to school. It was their mother’s choice to send them to NPH so that they would be able to be educated, have health care and be loved.
“I don’t know why but my mother never visits me, but I have found a family with NPH,” she said. “The best thing about NPH is that they give us love and the attention we need.”
Jesus Alejandro also spoke about his experience through the program. Alejandro joined the program in 2007, when he was 10-years-old.
“Before coming to NPH, my life was disgusting,” he said. “Every day my mom would leave the house, leaving only my half-siblings and I alone.”
After being abused by his mother, Alejandro decided to leave. He stayed with is grandparents until they got him into the NPH program. His siblings were taken away from their mother and now live with their grandparents.
“Before coming to NPH, I thought my life had no meaning,” he said. “But now I realize the NPH is a blessing for me and for so many other children that might have no one in their life.”
See photos from the Mass on page 16 and 17.