Friends for the Journey

This past week the leadership cohort participated in a kickoff dinner for the Friends for the Journey component of the leadership program. Now that the leaders have had an opportunity to get settled in to their new home during the first two months, each has been paired up with a mentor who will accompany them during their time in Seattle and beyond.

Each of the five leaders has been paired with a member of the NPH family in Seattle to be their “friend for the journey.” These friends will be companions and mentors that will walk alongside our leaders during their year in Seattle, and continue to be in contact with them in the years to come. One of the program’s core goals is for the leaders to make lasting relationships with people they could then turn to in complete confidence to talk about the joys and challenges of their time in Seattle, and the joys and challenges of being a leader in NPH in the future.

Each of the mentors have varying ties with NPH and Friends of the Orphans and serve a particularly vital function of talking about the different experiences the leaders are having in their time living away from NPH and living outside of their own country. Each of the leaders will set up agreeable times to meet with their mentors on a regular basis to be able to chat over a meal, a coffee, or a walk. These mentors will be like many other friends the leaders have and will make here in Seattle, but they will be friends that know NPH and Friends of the Orphans well, and who the leaders know they can talk to in confidence.

The mentors and leaders alike have great hopes for this component of the leadership program and getting to know each other over the course of the year.

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Happy Thanksgiving from the NPH International Leadership Program!

We are grateful for you…


Your support.

Your encouragement.

Your participation.

Your ideas.

Your guidance.

Your compassion.

Your prayers.


May your holiday be blessed with God’s grace and love!


In gratitude,

Wendy, Digyana, Julissa, Emir, Jean-Francois and Kara


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A Thanksgiving Prayer

O God, when I have food, help me to remember the hungry;

When I have work, help me to remember the jobless;

When I have a home, help me to remember those who have no home at all;

When I am without pain, help me to remember those who suffer;

And remembering, help me to destroy my complacency; bestir my compassion,

and be concerned enough to help,

by word and deed those who cry out for what I take for granted.




Standing in the Tragic Gap

This morning, we had the opportunity to attend the Women in the World breakfast, put on by the Seattle International Foundation (SIF) which supports worldwide poverty alleviation efforts through grant-making and other activities, with a strategic focus on Central America.

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Julissa, Wendy and Digyana had the opportunity to meet and talk with grassroots women leaders from around the globe including several from their home countries of Guatemala and Honduras!  We were also pleased to chat with Pennye from Etta Projects about a potential leadership project in collaboration with NPH Bolivia.

The words of one of the speakers should remind us all of the purpose in our work with the NPHI leadership program in Seattle.  She spoke of standing in the “tragic gap” – of standing in the space  between the difficult realities of life and the potential and knowledge of what is possible.  As our year here continues, we hope to stand carefully and wisely in that space, empowering these emerging young leaders to return to their home communities better equipped to love and serve well.

The Leadership Group Connects with Central American Leaders from iLEAP

By: Emir Ricaño

Last Tuesday, November 8, 2011, we went to a gathering at iLEAP to hear about Youth Empowerment.  iLEAP is a nonprofit organization with a mission to cultivate and inspire a new generation of global citizens and also to collaborate with community leaders throughout Asia, Africa and Latin America.  So in this meeting, we met three different people who work in different areas and different countries.  When we arrived, we were separated into different groups to listen to the leaders as they explained their projects.


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The first leader that I listened to speak was Lucy Luna from El Salvador, she works for an organization called “ASAPROSAR”.  This organization works with low-income families in El Salvador to improve life quality through healthcare, youth leadership training, environmental and nutritional education, micro-credit, and community development.  ASAPROSAR focuses on providing services to children, youth, and women in rural and marginalized urban areas.

Then I heard about Genesis Group from Nicaragua, the person who spoke about the organization was Lidieth Alvarez, she works with local woman entrepreneurs, and she is also active in Youth Training Educational Development, which empowers youth and keeps the community clean and this group also is active in encouraging recycling and composting.

Finally I heard about Claudia Vanesa from Honduras, she works with the “GOJoven organization”.  This organization gives support and empowerment to young leaders to act as catalysts for social change.  These leaders aim to vastly improve and expand adolescent health choices, and programs, both on a community and regional level.  They also work in different countries like: Belize, Mexico, Honduras, and Guatemala.

To conclude with the night, we came together one more time in the larger group, and different people talked about their views. I think it was an excellent night and we learned about different projects that are in Central American and how they support young people to create a better future in their countries.

Jean Francois shares his trip to the Experience Music Project

Sunday Morning after a beautiful mass at Our Lady Guadalupe church Emir, Juan, Kristen and I, went to downtown to EMP (Experience Music Project museum). As my first sight, it was a big advertising of the avatar movie (exhibition), which is one of my favorite movies. Inside was an exposition of extraordinary music instruments, the gloves of Michael Jackson, a thousand guitars stacked on top of each other, an exposition of Jimmy Hendrix and of Nirvana, and a story about them and their success in music and other people who were and are important for music.

But my interest was Avatar. Inside there was technology everywhere, everything that they used in the movie, It was very surprising to see how advanced the technology is and so incredible to see how this movie was made. I appreciate the ton of work that they have been made and that I felt in the movie. It was really exciting to me because I really like this movie however I didn’t see the actors, producer, or the flying mountains but I saw some pictures of them. I was really excited about this exhibition, I loved it.

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