A family and a home for more than 6,400 children
NPH Ireland supports the NPH network of homes in Latin America and the Caribbean. Increasingly NPH runs programmes in communities, supporting children within their own family. But for the many children who are without a family of their own, NPH runs homes in 8 countries: Bolivia, the Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Guatemala, Haiti, Honduras, Mexico, and Peru (our centre in Nicaragua runs community-based programmes). They are mostly located near cities, making services and supplies easily accessible. At the same time, they are relatively isolated and have extensive grounds. This provides our children with safety and security, which they may not have experienced before joining the NPH family.
A place to call home
The boys and girls at NPH homes are orphaned, abandoned or disadvantaged. Many have suffered physical or verbal abuse. Often they have lived in horrible conditions. They may have been shuffled from one family member to another. Like all children, they are seeking love and security, a place they can call home. They are referred to NPH by family members, neighbours or government agencies. When they come to NPH, they range in age from new-born to teenager. They are told that they will never be asked to leave.
Children at NPH homes are not available for adoption
Instead they are welcomed with their brothers and sisters and become a part of the larger, stable NPH family environment. That gives them a chance to focus on education and personal growth, knowing that a loving support system will always be in place for them. The children grow and learn in their culture and language. They become contributing citizens in their own countries. Our homes are located in Bolivia, the Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Guatemala, Haiti, Honduras, Mexico, Nicaragua and Peru.
Most of the children have contact with their extended families
There are scheduled “Visitors Days” during the year, in which children get together with family members. Older siblings, uncles, aunts, cousins, and sometimes a parent or grandparent, arrive and spend the day on the NPH grounds, usually bringing food and drinks. Older teens usually have a free day when they can visit their family if they wish.
There is no fixed age at which the children leave NPH
They stay until they feel prepared to live independently. Some children leave NPH and start working after finishing secondary school. Others stay and attend high school, take vocational training or study at a university.
Giving back to the NPH family with a year of service
When a child has completed their education, or perhaps before going on to higher education, they are expected to give back to their family by completing a year of service (año de servicio or año familiar). In almost all cases, they gladly return to work with younger children, serve in the kitchen, offices, school or farm. During their Family Service, they continue to be supported by NPH.
Thousands of NPH children are now self-sufficient adults with families of their own
Many are educators, doctors, accountants, carpenters, farmers, mechanics, artists, administrators and social workers. Some work for NPH in one of the 9 countries where we have homes. Having learnt the NPH philosophies of sharing and giving back, others support NPH by sponsoring children, organizing fundraisers, or attending special events and serving as ambassadors for the organization.
The features of our homes
All of the homes strive to be self-sustaining and have:
- Living spaces
- Kitchens and dining halls
- Workshops where children can learn trades such as carpentry and welding
- Farms or gardens to produce food for the children, staff and volunteers
Helping local communities
In addition, NPH runs Outreach Programmes, which in 2016 provided over 100,000 services to nearby communities.
Ensuring the safety and well-being of the children in our care is at the heart of NPH’s family childcare model. If you become aware of child abuse or experience it personally at any NPH facility, please contact us so that we can take prompt action. Read more about child protection at NPH