About NPH International

Caring for orphaned and abandoned children in Latin America and the Caribbean since 1954.

Meet the International Leadership Program Participants

The vision of the International Leadership Program is to develop an ongoing leadership and language study program in the Seattle area for young people who have grown up in Nuestros Pequeños Hermanos (NPH, Spanish for “Our Little Brothers and Sisters”) homes and who have the expressed desire and motivation to continue Father Wasson’s vision of his older children caring for the next generations of children in need.

The program will train, support and inspire a future generation of young leaders who will return to their communities with the skills necessary to create sustainable NPH homes and outreach programs. As a group, the participants will explore best practices for implementing the NPH philosophy, learn more about their own leadership styles and develop strategies for leading during challenging times. Participants will gain experience through volunteer opportunities, job shadowing, and internships in their individual fields of interest.

A huge thank you to our kind and generous Host Families:

The Schuler Family

The Bubar Family

The Fitton Family

The Wiegand Family

The Saldaña Family

Emir at NPH Mexico.

Emir Mexico

Emir is 19-years-old and was in his year of service, working with 23 young boys, ages 7 -14. Emir is also Coordinator of the Estudiantina Group, NPH’s traveling dance and music group, which honors Mexico’s rich tradition and culture. Emir’s passion for music made him a natural leader within the group. He is responsible for overseeing rehearsals and preparing performers for their travels. Having had the opportunity to travel to the United States on nine separate occasions, Emir is looking forward to his time in the Pacific Northwest and hopes to gain experience that will help him learn new ways to support and encourage his NPH family. Emir would like to study medicine and aspires to give back to NPH in the future by working at NPH’s St. Damien Hospital in Haiti.

Julissa at NPH Guatemala in the vocational workshops.

Julissa at NPH Guatemala in the vocational workshops.

Julissa – Guatemala

Julissa is 23-years-old and is currently the Coordinator of Workshops in Guatemala, where she runs NPH’s programs certifying youth to help ensure future employment. As a Secretariat, Julissa is responsible for overseeing the various human resource and general accounting tasks for the Workshops Department; she also serves on the Youth Leadership team at home, and organizes activities and fun excursions for the children. While serving her NPH family, Julissa has been inspired by the common spirits of struggle, brotherhood, and perseverance held by her fellow brothers and sisters. She plans to continue organizing volunteer projects and giving back to the poor in her community. Julissa is excited for her time in the Pacific Northwest, where she hopes to be prepared for university.

Jean Francois at work at NPH Haiti.

Jean-François – Haiti

Jean-François is 23-years-old and first arrived at NPFS, along with his brother, at age 7. He is currently working as the Project Coordinator for NPFS Haiti, organizing the development projects taking place at the home. Jean-François has also worked as Communication Coordinator for Father Wasson Angels of Light and as a radiology technician for victims of the earthquake at St Damien’s. He plans to attend university while continuing work at NPFS Haiti and hopes to eventually become a National Director of NPFS Haiti or one of the directors of NPH International. A strong believer in the power of education, Jean-François wants to work at NPH in the future in order to give other children the opportunity to go to a good school, attend university, and become independent adults who will dedicate themselves to ensuring the well-being of their country.

Wendy with Marta at NPH Honduras.

Wendy – Honduras

Wendy is 25-years-old and came to NPH with her older brother and younger sister when she was 11. During Wendy’s Year of Service cared for her younger brothers and sisters.   Wendy prepared activities, readied them for school, and helped them with their homework in the evenings. Inspired by her time supporting working with young children, Wendy joined the Youth Leadership Group in Honduras, where she served as a leader for NPH by encouraging participation in community outreach programs. Wendy is looking forward to becoming bilingual during her time in the Pacific Northwest. Afterwards she hopes to continue her university education in Speech Communication and then return to share the story of NPH with others as a communications officer.

Pilot Year, 2011-2012 Seattle

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

In 2009, I sat with a colleague from NPH Bolivia exploring the possibility of our kids studying in the Northwest.  We sat near the lush Amazon River Basin, the stars overhead allowing us perhaps to dream a little more than within the constraints of our offices, or the pressures of our daily NPH work would permit.  And so, on the back of a napkin we jotted down ideas. A vision for a formation program that would prepare our young people to become agents for positive change in their home communities; whether within NPH homes as directors, caregivers, nurses or social workers – or within the context of one of NPH’s many outreach programs in the local communities.  We talked of the enormous potential within our young people, their amazing capacity to serve and love well.  We imagined giving them time to explore their unique leadership styles, better understand their strengths and weaknesses, grow in their faith, increase their self-esteem and learn a second language.  We envisioned sharing with them a variety of tools and strategies that would help them in their personal journey, and creating a safe space for them to learn from each other.

Two years later, many wonderful people have contributed their time, resources and ideas to this vision.  And so, we stand ready to welcome our Charter Cohort of the International Leadership Program to Seattle.  Five amazing young people from four NPH homes will arrive during September.  They were chosen from over 25 applications received from seven NPH homes.  The application process included essay questions, as well as submitting a resume and letters of reference.  The applications were screened by NPH National Directors as well as other people within NPH and Friends of the Orphans.  All the participants that were chosen have expressed the desire to serve their NPH family in the future in some capacity.

During the coming nine months, these emerging leaders will engage in experiences and activities purposefully designed to encourage their growth and development as leaders.  An amazing community is taking shape around this vision; including our wonderful host families who will welcome the pequeños into their homes, former NPH volunteers who will offer support for retreats as well as a peer group for the participants, the NW Friends of the Orphans office stepping up as mentors and rallying to fundraise for this program, and many local church leaders, leadership trainers and facilitators who will teach in their area of expertise and who are already lending their support and wisdom to the program.

The structure of the program will include the following:

Language Study: At the Seattle Central Community College English Institute

Leadership Development: The participants will engage in weekly meetings focused on leadership and personal growth.  Retreats, along with attendance at workshops and panels spread throughout the year will deepen the experience and provide additional training.

Mentoring/Community: The participants will be connected with local mentors who will encourage and accompany them now and then continue to support them as they return to their home countries.  We will strive to develop an intentional, service-oriented and globally-minded community for encouragement, sharing and learning.

Service/Practical Experience: The participants will have ample opportunity for job-shadowing, assisting with fundraising efforts at Friends of the Orphans and sharing the NPH story with a variety of audiences as the year progresses.

If you would like to learn more about the program, please don’t hesitate to contact me!

Kara King

NPH International Leadership Program Director

Seattle, Washington