Hermano Mayor Spotlight! Jader Rayo

Our youth at NPH, after achieving their independence and graduating from university or another program, become the older brothers and sisters in our family, also known as ‘hermanos mayores’.

The paths that hermanos mayores decide to take are varied and unique. Many pursue their career outside of NPH, while others feel called to come back. They provide their skills and expertise to the home as they become wonderful role models to the little ones.

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Jader Rayo

Jader Rayo is one of our hermanos mayores who chose to dedicate his career to NPH and is passionate about supporting the kids. Arriving at the age of 13 to NPH Nicaragua, he grew up in the home, continued his studies and graduated from university, and then returned to work at NPH full time. Even while he was studying at the university, he continued to stay involved in the lives of his younger brothers and sisters and always has taken a great interest in their wellbeing and preparedness for life after NPH.

Since then, Jader has worked in multiple roles with NPH, and currently coordinates the University and Hermano Mayor program at NPH Nicaragua. He has been part of the staff for a total of nine years.

He shares with us his experience, both growing up at NPH and working as a staff member.

Looking back on your childhood at NPH, how did it impact the person you are today?  What NPH did for me was definitely a radical change, I feel like it was NPH that gave direction to my life. I hadn’t found meaning and purpose, but thanks to God I learned that every one of us in this life has just that. Back then, I didn’t think that I would finish primary school let alone university, feel competent in society, and be able to support my small family and NPH as I do now. 

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Jader at the home’s first communion in 2009

What do you want for the children at NPH? I would like to continue being an instrument to help the children achieve their goals as they grow up. I would like to see them when they are older with values, and as professionals, and that they keep that family spirit alive that we have inherited here at Nuestros Pequeños Hermanos.

Did you know Father Wasson (founder of NPH)? What is your best memory of him? I remember when I was in my Year of Service, and I was fishing to feed the little ones. Father Wasson told me, “You will be a fisher of MEN.” 

What inspired you to work for NPH? What inspires you currently? Dedicated people with Father Wasson’s vision inspired me to begin working at NPH. Now it’s the effort that I see from so many kids wanting to move forward in their lives, and seeing the service they do for others.

What does NPH mean to you? NPH is something very special, it’s a blessing for my little family and I, and for my brothers and sisters who I have grown up with. 

To learn more about Jader and his story, visit: Jader’s story  

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Jader (left) with Mauricio (right) who works at NPH Nicaragua and is also a hermano mayor.

Grateful for Family

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As we reflect on this past year, our hearts overflow with gratitude for life’s special moments, newly formed and strengthened relationships, and the accomplishments of our children. We are as proud as the parents who post their child’s exam marked with a big red A+ on the fridge.

We are not a small family. We do not have one mom, one dad, and one fridge to post our children’s student work. We are big, and rather than one mom and dad there are many, and rather than a couple siblings there are thousands. Our family is nowhere near traditional, but we are happy, and loved, and celebrate in our uniqueness.

We step into 2015 energized by a love that is contagious and unconditionally present throughout the home. A few members of our family, who are accustomed to this kind of love and know firsthand what makes NPH so special, share their insight with us.

We asked them, “what makes NPH unique?”

Reinhart, Board Chair of NPH International:

BLOG 4 (NY) - ReinhartMany things make NPH unique. One of the most important things is that we’re truly a family. It’s very difficult for people to understand why we’re a family with so many children. But we see it. We see it as the children grow up, how they relate to each other, how they relate to the adults, and how they relate to NPH once they leave the home. It’s not just the caretakers, the tíos and tías, it’s also the gardener, the cooks, the nurses in the clinic. All are really positive role models. The teachers in the school. That makes part of the family. But in the end the children make the family because they know that once they arrive at NPH they can stay here. And because of that security to be able to stay here they can develop a sense of belonging. Sharing creates community. Sharing creates family.

Benito Martinez, Family Services Coordinator of NPH Nicaragua:

Blog 4 (NY) - BenitoFor the children, it’s a place where they can develop themselves as people with principles and values. For us, as adults and employees, it’s also a family where we share our experiences and our feelings with all the children that are here in NPH. Our goal is to provide a safe home. Give love and security to the children so that this strengthens them to be able to become good people in society. So our goal, more than just giving them a home with love and security, is to form them so that they can transmit these values that they learn inside the NPH family to their own families. And also form them so that they give a better life for their families after leaving the NPH family.

Nidia Roda, Hermana Mayor and social worker from NPH Honduras:

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For me, the Nuestros Pequeños Hermanos family is something that you will always carry with you. Hermanos Mayores never stop being pequeños/pequeñas. It is an experience that cannot be explained because wherever we are, with whomever we are, NPH is our base. It’s the foundation of all our lives. If we know how to live life with the principles of the NPH family which they taught us here, we go through life leaving footprints. And this transcends to our homes, it transcends to our own families, in the future to our own children. It’s something that will always be there and no one will be able to erase it. It’s like a stamp, a mark on each one of our lives.

Billy Jean, university student from NPFS Haiti:

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What makes us unique is the feeling of belonging that all of us have at NPH. The feeling of belonging that we have for our family. And also, we are in different countries but we all grew up in NPH and we follow a philosophy together that makes us have the same mentality about life and about NPH. Even if we are in different countries, we have the same concept of NPH because we grow up together as real brothers and sisters. NPH is a new concept of family in the world because we don’t have the same father or same brothers. We are from different countries. This new concept of family is from the heart.

 

Sending you best wishes for a special year full of family and love,

The Family Services Team