“The most important thing is that we teach our children to practice charity.”

After Hurricane Matthew swept through Haiti and took many lives, it also left thousands upon thousands of people homeless, and families without the means to provide bread each day for their children. Charity is needed!

Click here to donate now.

Many of our staff have been affected, either they have been personally or through their relatives, by this devastating storm. We stand in solidarity with the victims, the people, our brothers and sisters in Haiti. Our staff, grand frères and sœurs and pequeñ@s, are doing an outstanding job under impossible circumstances to provide food, water and healthcare to those in need.

Father Wasson once said: “The most important thing is that we teach our children to practice charity.  Because if they love, they will be loved.”  See for yourself how our youth, the Pequeñ@s in Haiti, put the principles of this philosophy into practice.

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In solidarity,

The Family Service team

26 New Volunteers

Photos and Article by Avriel Burlot

The volunteers are a valuable and active part of our NPH family. They work directly with our children in all areas. They tutor in school, they care for them in their homes, they treat them in the clinic and fill many and all roles in between. Volunteers have been working with NPH since our first day and Fr. Wasson relied on volunteers from the beginning, just as much as we do now.

Each January and July we welcome new volunteers in our homes. This July, 26 new volunteers arrived to our homes in Mexico, Honduras, Guatemala and the Dominican Republic. Avriel Burlot, the International Volunteer Coordinator, had the opportunity to visit the four homes for the volunteer orientations and meet the new volunteers. She said, “I love when new volunteers start working with us! They bring an energy, new ideas, new spirit and they love the kids so much! The more people that love and care for our kids the better.”

Currently we have 68 volunteers, representing 17 countries, in all of our homes. They work hard, play soccer, serve food, put our kids to bed and love them with all of their heart. We cannot thank them enough for their dedication and love.

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Welcome Jacqueline Shrader, the New Seattle Institute Program Director

We are so excited to introduce you to our next Seattle Institute Program Director: Jacqueline Shrader!  Jacqueline is a graduate of Seattle University, former Jesuit Volunteer Corp international volunteer and brings a background in ministry, service, and accompaniment to this role.

As a part of Jacqueline’s orientation and training process, she had the opportunity to travel to our NPH home in Honduras to learn more about the organization, work with Donna Egge, Director of NPHI Family Services, and meet past participants from the Seattle Institute.


Jacqueline (far left) spending time with past and future Seattle Institute graduates at the NPH Honduras Home

Jacqueline and Donna met with four past Seattle Institute graduates, a handful of past iLeap participants and also Saravia, who will be a part of the 2016-2017 class in the Seattle Institute while in Honduras. The group talked about the past five years of the program, the best parts of the graduates’ year in Seattle, what they learned and what important lessons they brought back to Honduras. Jacqueline was able to learn from the graduates themselves about their hopes for the future of the program.

Jacqueline said, “I am deeply humbled and very excited for this opportunity to journey with the Seattle Institute and all of you who make this community possible.”

We feel confident and grateful as we pass this beautiful and meaningful work to her.

We also want to take this opportunity to thank Kara King who helped build this inspirational program that has helped developed 26 graduates over five years in the NPH Seattle Institute. We are overwhelmed by the many great things that Kara has accomplished over the past 15 years with NPH and we wish her the best of luck in her next adventure!


Jacqueline (left) and one of the recent Seattle Institute graduates.

Photos and article by Avriel Burlot

Homes of Peace, Homes of Mercy

One of the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals for 2030 is to ‘promote just, peaceful and inclusive societies’.

In a world where peace and inclusion can feel so far away, creating this kind of society may at times seem like a lofty ideal. But as individuals who form part of the NPH community, every day we have the chance to rise to that ideal and promote peace in all of those places we call home.

Father Alberto, our NPH Nicaragua chaplain, leads us in a reflection on finding peace in our homes.


Written by Father Alberto Cisneros Izquierdo, NPH Nicaragua (Original Spanish text below). English translations by Janet Chavez, NPHI

“We can breathe joy and peace around this home, from the first moment, we feel as part of the family!” This is the sentiment expressed by many of the people who visit us throughout the year. How do we achieve this? I think the key is what Father Wasson lived: “In my life, I found out that if you want to change the world you have to start with the children. Not only by changing the children, but by changing their hearts. If we are to change the world I think we should start with the children. We must start by changing their hearts.”


Many of our children arrive with deep wounds, marked by hatred and resentment. These feelings generate violence and kill peace. If we want our children to be happy we must begin by helping them find the peace they have lost. For this reason Father Wasson always asked in his prayer “May God guide children to a life of mercy rather than of justice, teaching them to be merciful to one another.” Justice can restore the violated rights but only mercy can bring peace and joy to the heart. When our children discover God’s mercy, when they discover the joy to forgive and be forgiven, fruit of the resurrection of Jesus, then they become witnesses of God’s love.

And in the end love always wins. Maybe not immediately, but in the end love is stronger than hatred. At our homes we teach universal brotherhood. Who is my brother? Everyone is your brother. “We all care for each other. We have to work for one another if we ever want to make this world a peaceful world.”

Love instead of violence, has been key in Father Wasson’s life, inspired by the Holy Scriptures, especially in the Sermon on the Mount, and sometimes by good deeds of contemporary icons.

NPH Nicaragua_2016_Children_147“The biggest event of the last century, in my mind, was Mohandas Gandhi’s movement. He accepted an active non-violence. There is a difference between non-violence and active non-violence. People who are non-violent are people that hide and do nothing. But active non-violence means that you have it there, and do good things, while other people do evil things.”

Our goal is that our children respond to violence with love and by doing good deeds, because only love will change the world. If our children do not change their heart of rancor to a heart of mercy, then they will follow the same path of violence and neglect in their lives, and they won’t be agents of change in this society that seems to have lost the meaning of life.

“How happy are those who never stop

making this world a world of peace:

they travel where the brave have walked.

They shall be called children of God!

How happy the one preparing a plan

to be shalom between man and man

when hatred was destroyed and your victory won

this man of peace shall be son of God!”

From the book: Sermon on the Mount by Father Wasson

~ Father Alberto Cisneros Izquierdo

From Spain originally, Father Alberto is a Diocesan Priest from the Osma-Soria Diocese and was the priest of a pastoral unit of Almazán and a delegate of youth pastoral care before he arrived at NPH in 2011. 



Escrito por Padre Alberto Cisneros Izquierdo, NPH Nicaragua

“¡Qué alegría y paz se respira en este hogar, uno se siente desde el primer momento en familia!” Así me expresan muchas de las personas que nos visitan a lo largo del año. ¿Cómo lo conseguimos? Creo que la clave está en lo que el padre Wasson vivió: “Yo descubrí en mi vida que si quieres cambiar el mundo tienes que empezar por los niños. No ha sido solo cambiar a los niños, sino cambiar su corazón. Si vamos a cambiar el mundo creo que debemos comenzar con los niños. Debemos de empezar con cambiar su corazón”.

Nuestros hijos llegan muchos de ellos con profundas heridas, marcados por el odio y el rencor. Sentimientos que engendran violencia y matan la paz. Si queremos que nuestros hijos sean felices tenemos que empezar por ayudarles a encontrar la paz perdida. Por eso Padre Wasson pedía siempre en su oración “Que Dios guie a los niños a una vida de misericordia mas que de justicia. Que les enseñe a ser misericordiosos unos con otros”. Y es que la justicia puede restituir los derechos violentados pero solo la misericordia es capaz de devolver la paz y la alegría al corazón. Cuando nuestros hijos se encuentran con la misericordia de Dios, cuando descubren la alegría de perdonar y ser perdonados, fruto de la resurrección de Jesús, entonces se convierten en testigos del amor de Dios.

Y es que al final el amor siempre ganará. Quizá no de inmediato, pero al final el amor es más fuerte que el odio. Y en nuestros hogares educamos en la fraternidad universal. ¿Quién es mi hermano? Todos son tus hermanos. “Todos debemos cuidarnos unos a otros. Tenemos que trabajar unos para los otros si alguna vez vamos a llevar al mundo a algo cerca de ser un mundo en paz”.

Amor en lugar de violencia, ha sido una clave en la vida del padre Wasson, inspirado en las Sagradas Escrituras, especialmente en el Sermón de la Montaña,  y algunas veces por las buenas obras de iconos contemporáneos.

“El mas grande evento del siglo pasado, en mi mente, fue la aparición de Mohandas Ghandi. El aceptó  una no-violencia activa. Hay una diferencia entre la no violencia y la no violencia activa. La gente que es no violenta es gente que se esconde y no hace nada. Pero la no-violencia activa significa que la tienes allí, y haces el bien, mientras que otra gente hace el mal”.

Este es nuestro empeño, llevar a nuestros hijos a responder ante la violencia con amor y haciendo el bien, porque solo el amor cambiará el mundo. Si nuestros hijos no cambian su corazón de rencor en un corazón de misericordia, entonces seguirá la misma cadena de violencia y abandono en sus vidas, y no podrán ser agentes de cambio en esta sociedad que parece haber perdido el sentido de la vida.

“Qué dichoso son aquellos que nunca cesan

de hacer de este mundo una tierra de paz:

ellos viajan donde los valientes han pisado.

¡Ellos serán llamados los hijos de Dios!

Qué dichoso será el que forma un plan

de ser shalom entre hombre y hombre;

cuando el odio destruyo y tu victoria gano.

¡Este hombre de paz será hijo de Dios!”

Del libro El sermón de la montaña del P. Wasson

~ Padre Alberto Cisneros Izquierdo

Origin de España, Padre Alberto es Sacerdote Diocesano de la Diócesis de Osma-Soria (España). Antes de llegar a NPH en 2011, era sacerdote de la unidad pastoral de Almazán (Soria) y  delegado de pastoral juvenil de su diócesis. 


*Photo Credit to Mark Robinson (1st) and Anne Bergfeld (2nd), NPH Nicaragua

The Easter Journey: the Next 50 Days

Dear NPH Family,

As we celebrate once again God’s amazing love for us, journeying through this past Holy Week and now this Resurrection, we are filled with hope for new life and new beginnings. The Easter season is 50 days! From now till Pentecost how do we delve deeper into the mystery of God’s love? How do we LIVE the Easter miracle, the Easter signs of hope and lived faith? HOW can we make sure these 50 days are different than any other 50 days?

NPH Honduras_2015_Religion_1We can see with new eyes! Every morning wherever we are in our NPH Global community we can use words of hope and faith and love. Of smiles and solutions, and kindness. We can feel with compassion in this year of Mercy. We can above all live in gratefulness for all we have, including our legacy of Fr. Wasson’s miracle to care for vulnerable children! To give concrete thanks for the hundreds of childcare staff and volunteers we have who care for our children. To LIVE as if Easter REALLY happened! That Resurrection is possible EVERY DAY in the lives of our children and youth, and first and foremost in ourselves. Let us challenge ourselves in these next 50 days of Easter to live as if there REALLY IS an Eastertime, filled with hope, compassion, love and mercy. Then the spirit of Pentecost will fuel us in unknown ways to continue to serve our NPH family!

“God loves EACH of us as if there were only ONE of us!” St. Augustine

Donna Egge, NPHI Board Mission Ministry Chair & Director of Family Services

*photo credit: Hunter Johnson

Celebrating our Powerful Girls

Our Family Services team celebrates International Women’s Day on March 8th and we invite you to celebrate with us. Grab a coffee, sit back and read a new insight of the impact that NPH is making on Honduran girls in the local community through the Chicas Poderosas (‘Powerful Girls’) program.


NPH Honduras_2015_Miscellaneous_1

Chicas Poderosas girls with Zarine García, 2nd from the right  (photo by Karl Groneman)

Looking at the numbers alone, around 200 girls currently attend a Chicas Poderosas program across four of our NPH homes. One hundred of these NPH girls live in our Honduras home and are part of the NPH family, their ages ranging from 9 to 18. One component of this program that deserves a big shout-out is the benefit that it brings to the community outside of NPH: NPH staff and volunteers bring Chicas Poderosas to three local communities every week and serve approximately 50 girls from outside of the NPH home, in addition to the 100 who live in the home.

Zarine García, the Coordinator of Chicas Poderosas and Youth Development programs at NPH Honduras, describes their girls’ empowerment program also known as ‘Chicas’:

“Chicas Poderosas meets once a week with each group, and consists of a variety of activities, including educational, social and recreational activities, all of which are chosen and prepared with the goal of promoting healthy living, positive decision making, improving self esteem, strengthening relationships between the girls, and self awareness and self development.”

We interviewed Zarine to learn her insight on some of the challenging realities that young women face in Honduras as well as how our NPH program helps to fight these issues and stand up for our young girls and women. Below is an excerpt of this interview.

NPH Honduras_2012_Miscellaneous_2

A Chicas Poderosas meeting (photo by Hunter Johnson)

In just a few words, what is the main purpose of the ‘Chicas’ program?

“It is designed to talk to the girls about their rights as women, and also to teach them how to make healthy decisions, to become more self-sufficient and independent as women, and take an active role in their own lives and futures.

The program also offers the girls a safe environment where they can talk about their experiences, relax, and be themselves. Generally there are not other opportunities like this, especially for girls in the community.”

Girls in the home have the opportunity to go to Chicas Poderosas, but NPH Honduras also provides this program to girls outside of the home to the very communities where they live. Why is it important for the community girls outside of NPH to have the opportunity to go to ‘Chicas’ as well?

“In the community (outside of the NPH home), it’s rare for girls to have a place to go where it’s just them, or any sort of activity just for girls. The boys have soccer, but the girls have nothing, especially not in an environment free of leering eyes or inappropriate comments, which are openly given all too often by men and boys in the streets. With this program, they are provided with just that – a safe space, girls only, where the idea is to have fun, learn, and be themselves. It’s a chance for the girls to really open up and learn to be comfortable with themselves, knowing that no one there is going to judge or criticize them for what they think, feel, or ask.

Girls in the community also tend to have less access to information, and it’s not customary for parents to talk openly to their children about many topics, especially regarding relationships. This program provides the girls with appropriate information and also gives them the chance to talk and ask questions regarding these topics that they would most likely not have the chance to ask otherwise.

The program is also one of the rare organized activities for girls in the communities. It gives them a space to explore and participate in various activities, as well as learn new skills – cooking, jewelry making, arts and crafts – that they would otherwise not have the opportunity to take part in.

Although the program is still fairly new to the communities, there has been a noticeable change in the girls and their behavior since the time they started. They are more outgoing and participative, their ability to reflect and analyze has improved, and they are able to discuss the various topics we’ve covered while, many of which were completely unfamiliar to them with prior to the program. They are also quicker to relate and apply the topics to their own lives, something that was tricky for them in the beginning. Many of the girls have also openly expressed to us their enthusiasm for the program, calling it a high point in their week. Our community coordinators have also observed this, commenting that for many of the girls it’s the only sort of organized activity they have access to outside of school.”

NPH Honduras_2015_Miscellaneous_3

Zarine working with the older group of Chicas Poderosas girls (photo by Karl Groneman)

Is the goal the same for the community program as it is for the girls in the home? What differences do you see when going to a ‘Chicas’ program in the community compared to one in the home?

“Yes, the goal is the same in the community as it is for kids in the home, but requires a slightly different focus due to the differences in how the home is run and the culture in the communities. In general the focus tends to be more educational, since the community girls generally have less access to information than those in the home. This means more classroom type activities and learning-based games.

Another difference is that many girls in the community also tend to be more timid, insecure and disempowered due to stronger cultural messages outside the home. It is clear that they are not used to being asked their opinion or being given the opportunity to express themselves, especially with adults. This is another point of focus, encouraging the girls to speak out and speak up.

There is also a greater concern regarding relationships and teen pregnancy in the community, simply because many of the girls tend to have more freedom and spare time, and less supervision in many cases. This combined with their more timid and insecure nature makes them bigger targets for men who might not have the best intentions. For this reason, focusing on ways to build self-esteem, making sure they know their rights as human beings and as women, and helping them to be more sure of themselves are also priorities in the community.”


We thank Zarine and the NPH volunteers for their work in the Chicas Poderosas program both in the home and outside community. Learning more about the work that you do was a high point in our week, and we too encourage these girls to speak out and speak up.

Sending loads of encouragement and warm wishes to you and these powerful young women on International Women’s Day!


The NPHI Family Service team


Family: past, present and future!

By Avriel Burlot

In January we celebrated our 7th Youth Development Conference with nearly 50 participants from all nine homes!

What a better way to start the year but with energy, inspiration and motivation! Each January, at one of our NPH homes, we invite youths from each of our homes for a conference to focus on personal development, team work, leadership and a special focus on our NPH family.


NPHI Youth Development Conference 2016


This past January 20th to 27th, 42 youth from Mexico, Honduras, Haiti, Guatemala, Nicaragua, El Salvador, Dominican Republic, Peru and Bolivia gathered at NPH Guatemala for our 7th Youth Development Conference. This year the theme was Family: past, present and future. The week focused on our NPH family in the past and how we have grown to where we are today and where we will be in the future.

Throughout the week, different topics were focused on, which included how to be an effective leader, self-awareness, how to manage one’s emotions, faith and the family and


NPHI Executive Director, Miguel Venegas, practicing the week’s theme song with participants and youth from different countries

the history and development of our NPH family. The participants were engaged through various lessons, activities, games, reflections and prayers to really understand the themes throughout the week. In addition, the participants were able to actively engage with the special guests throughout the week with a panel and small group break out session. Special guests included Dr. Michael Maccoby, Reinhart Koehler, President of NPHI Board of Directors, Miguel Venegas, Executive Director of NPHI, Kara King, Fr. Reynaldo and John DeBlasio.

One of the integral themes of the week was empowering the youth to carry on the message and mission of Fr. Wasson. During the week, the participants were broken up into small


A group of youth teaching Casa San Jose, a house of young boys in NPH Guatemala, about Fr. Wasson

working groups. They prepared and taught a lesson about Fr. Wasson and NPH to the children at NPH Guatemala. Each group was responsible for a different age group and had to adapt their message to reach their specific group. The groups were extremely creative and the children in the home thoroughly enjoyed spending time with their brothers and sisters from their international family.


The planning team

This year we were fortunate to have an hermano mayor (older brother) and staff member from NPH Mexico and a university member and staff member from NPH Guatemala on the planning team. Ricardo Klayen (NPH Mexico) and Jacinto Arias (NPH Guatemala), both have attended the Youth Conference and are both graduates from the Seattle Institute, and Ricardo also graduated from iLEAP this past summer. They were essential members on the team. It is a huge success to have past participants now on the planning side of the conference. They bring a new perspective, new energy and in the end make the conferences more successful.

One of the participants in their evaluations commented, “to be in touch with our brothers [and sisters], we are able to realize that we are all important and we should all be heard and that we all have an important role in our family.”

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Our youth are the future of NPH and these conferences are a great opportunity for them to reflect and learn side-by-side their fellow brothers and sisters from all the NPH homes. The overall goal is to provide the information and keys for personal and professional development and for our youth to take what they absorb back home and to put it into action.

The Family Service Team (at your service)

Photos and article by Avriel Burlot