Thursday, 10 July 2014

We are so happy to announce that Kiwi doctors Hannah Binns & Russel Eggleton are currently volunteering at the NPH Guatemala Orphanage Clinic. On their first day they have seen 50 children aged between 2-18 years old and are making a HUGE difference in their health & wellbeing.

See Hannah's update below :

Dear NPH,
We are absolutely loving the home! We spent the weekend in the house for special needs children which was cool! We took them to horse physical therapy which was interesting and not a therapy we were familiar with. Next we went to the with the 'casa de bebes' which I, in particular, loved! We made heaps of friends and took plenty of photos.

Yesterday was our first day in the clinic. De Lauren Gomez is really nice and speaks only in Spanish and very, very fast which was a good learning experience for us. She was there in the morning and left us alone for the afternoon to see the kids. We saw about 50 kids between the two of us. It has been the holidays so when they return to the home they all have to be seen by a doctor and assessed, so we were doing that. We actually feel like we're helpful and contributing to the home, which is a great feeling. We have diagnosed a few conditions and have prescribed some treatments; anything that we can do to improve the life of the kids, we want to do.

Until next time!


Sunday, 4 May 2014

NPH Orphanage Trip - Peru April 2014 - Part 4

One of our big projects has been preparing the ground around the new kindergarten to put ready lawn down so the kids can use it as soon as possible. It looked like a rather massive task but under the thumb of Russell and Dan, we have come close to conquering it – that is if the grass is delivered.

Some of the boys came and helped us out today with wheelbarrows so full of dirt that the tyres were about to explode. The younger ones were pretty unsatisfied with their job of breaking up bigger bits of dirt and kept asking when they can start doing ‘real work’. Regardless of their idea of ‘real work’, they all still worked so hard and even in their sweatshirts and jeans in the heat of the middle of the day, they were reluctant to stop for a water break!

We took some of the older kids to the beach this afternoon but unfortunately the second we left, after having worked all morning in the blearing heat, the sun magically disappeared. It ended up a success with some of the braver boys taking a dip, some dolphins came in to the bay and we bought the kids some fishing lines and tried to teach them how to fish (even if a little unsuccessfully).

One of our major concerns for the children is their nutrition. On the first night we sat with them while they had dinner – pasta soup with beans. Last night they had chicken feet soup.

After speaking with Alfredo, he told us about how some of the older girls are suffering from gastritis and are not receiving enough protein and nutrients from fresh fruit and vegetables.  

So we have decided to support their project in attempt to give these girls the food that they need to be healthy and also the culinary knowledge so that they can cook it themselves.

It is estimated at US $5000, which we want to raise so that these girls can eat for a year, a nutritious diet and learn how to cook and share their knowledge and their food with the rest of the children.

NPH Orphanage Trip - Peru April 2014 - Part 3

We arrived at NPH in the early hours of the morning on Wednesday, after a few delays getting all the volunteers to Lima. Thankfully, the under five’s had been able to move into their new house and we are able to stay in their old one, meaning we did not have to camp nor set up tents at 2am.

In the morning NPH Volunteer Co-ordinator Claudia gave us a tour around the premises. The quality of the home and the facilities it provides for the children really exceeded our expectations.

Our first project was to deconstruct the old dining room, as the Canadians had just built a new one that had real walls and was a much safer environment than the plastic roofed one we removed. OSH would have had a fit having seen a construction which housed 100 children for dinner each night in New Zealand.

Our biggest concern were the nails, most of which were so rusty the heads would fall off as we tried to remove them. Pulling down the roof and the poles was quite dramatic, much to the delight of four little ones watching from the sandpit.

We have also been painting the outsides of the brick buildings with oil to stop the concrete drying out and cracking.

The volunteers who have godchildren/sponsors were able to meet their godchildren. It was really special and exciting to finally be able to put a name to their face, despite some of the difficulties communicating with limited Spanish they have still been able to connect and build friendships.

We joined the children in the dining room for their dinner on our first night and they gave us the most overwhelming welcome. They made a path for us to walk through and clapped, cheered and high-fived us as we walked in – a real celebrity welcome! We did a presentation for them about ourselves, often using some questionable Spanish… We showed them photos of New Zealand and sung Titiro Mai.

Aidee and Kristina held a theatre workshop that was pretty hilarious. They played the animal kingdom game and each kid had to choose an animal and show how it moves, how it sounds and what it would contribute to the kingdom. They came up with some very interesting reasons why they should be allowed in, such as a duck that wanted to eat all the corn and the monkey who wanted to protect everyone.

We were lucky enough to be able to take the kids to the movies to see Rio 2 especially as it was the first time they had ever been to the cinema. Some of the younger ones were so scared even walking up the stairs to the cinema, which was very adorable.

NPH Orphanage Trip - Peru April 2014 - Part 2

We’ve learnt that the children are accepted at any age and currently they range from 15 months to 23 years old. NPH’s goal is not to just provide food and shelter for the children but to ensure that when they leave NPH, they leave with life skills and the education to break the cycle of poverty. The children are taught an incredible work ethic, most of them getting up at 6am to complete their chores before breakfast and school. Once finishing school, the children are required to give a year of service back to NPH. They can work as a ‘tio/a’ (a caregiver), in the houses, kitchen, or doing office work.

It is really inspiring to see these children, who have nothing, to be so grateful for what they have. Russell gave his Godson Carlos some presents and before going back home, he folded the t-shirts immaculately and put everything back into the wrapping paper. It was so incredible to see a 17 year old boy even know how to fold a t-shirt so well! You can really see the sense of family here in the home with all the older kids looking out for the younger ones, carrying them or holding their hands.

The poverty that these children have come from is visible the second you walk out the gates of NPH. Right next to the home there is a slum that you can see the houses, made with recycled bricks and bound by what seems to be water and dirt. It is alarming to think that these kids would have come from similar places where their lives were in such danger.

NPH Peru is run by Alfredo and his wife Betty, who are both ‘ex-pequenos’ having had grown up in the homes in Mexico. They are excellent role models for the children, having both gained scholarships to attend university in Miami, where they met. Also they both speak great English.

Rafael is the house director of NPH Peru, who also grew up in the Honduras NPH home. He also went to university where he was able to pursue his studies in Psychology.

Thursday, 1 May 2014

NPH Orphanage Trip - Peru April 2014 - Part 1

In April, nine of our amazing volunteers travelled to NPH Peru accompanied by our director, Kristina Cavit. Bella MacDonald has written a wonderful piece about their experience at the home:

On this years NPH Orphanage trip to Peru we have a diverse bunch of kiwis. We are getting on like a house on fire and we all feel at home, even after just five days.

Under the Direction of Kristina, NPH Director of New Zealand, who has done an amazing job getting us all here and organising our trip, we have come from all over NZ (and the world) to be here.

From Auckland we have Aidee and Dan, who along with their enormous suitcases full of donations, brought their amazing talents with them. Aidee is an Actor and has played roles in Step Dave and Outrageous Fortune as well as being a Film Director. Aidee is also an Ambassador for NPH in New Zealand.

Dan designs marble fit-outs for Super Yachts around the world which allows him to take several months off at a time to work on various other projects and passions of his, such as photography, commercial diving and designing other products that he sells around the globe. Aidee and Dan are friends of Kristina and were keen to come to Peru to meet Aidee’s Godson, Nelson.

Maree is a young Doctor in Auckland who has taken 3 months off to travel around the Americas before moving hospitals in Auckland. Her extensive knowledge of health has been a great assistance in identifying some of the problem areas especially related to the diet of the children at the orphanage. Maree decided to join NPH as it is something she had wanted to do for a long time and believes it will be a good insight into her interest of medical aid in third world countries.

Russell is a father of four from the North Island who is a semi-retired dairy farmer, developer and civil constructor. Russell was convinced to come by Kristina who is a good friend of his daughter. His trip has been extra special as he has been able to meet his Godson, Carlos and he has generously shared his extensive knowledge of construction with the rest of the NPH Team.

Another Aucklander, Rose, is a teacher who has taken leave to go and travel. After being convinced by her friend in Santiago to just book a flight and go, Rose’s trip to NPH was decided at the last minute. Rose is an amazing musician and has been able to connect to the children by teaching them some beautiful kiwi songs.

Bobby is a Brazilian born musician who has lived in New Zealand for 15 years. He is a good friend of Aidee and Dan and supports NPH in New Zealand through live below the poverty line. Bobby’s musical talents were greatly received by the kids, who surprised him by picking up rhythms extremely quickly.

Trish is the Mother of Lou and they joined the team through a friend’s curiosity about NPH, so they thought they would check it out themselves. They are travelling around South America for two and a half months before Trish moves back to Dunedin from working as a Teacher in Auckland. Lou has been working in Dunedin while considering what path she will take next and hopes her travels will give her a bit of inspiration.

Bella is a student at Otago University on exchange in Santiago, Chile. She decided to join the NPH trip after meeting Kristina after a NPH fundraising event and being intrigued by the work that she does. Bella has also been able to meet her Grandmother’s Goddaughter, Liz who is 17 and is hoping to study at University once finishing school at the end of this year.

NPH Peru is an Orphanage that houses 100 children that are classified by social workers that would not survive without NPH’s help. Many of the children are not actually Orphans, however, their circumstances are so dire that they are in need of NPH’s help.