A Year To Be Thankful For

A young woman in her year of service describes an eventful 2018. Her favorite three moments from the past year will inspire you.
January 7, 2019 - Dominican Republic

Belkis enjoys a sunset after mass one evening.

Belkis is a strong, smart young woman. She has spent the majority of her life here at NPH, arriving with her brother when she was just four years old. That was 14 years ago and, since then, she has thrived in the NPH Dominican Republic family. Currently she is in her year of service, where she is running the newly opened café within the home. She enjoys cooking, so managing this facility was a great choice for her.

Besides spending her days in the café, she also enjoys playing soccer, exercising, dancing, and spending time with the younger children in the home. She hopes to enter university next year and study to be a teacher for young children. She had an exciting 2018, which included taking part in a wedding, a visit from her godparents, and graduating high school. She shares more about her favorite moments of the past year.

1. An NPH Wedding

Belkis was one of four girls who participated in a ceremony right here in our home. Two NPH godparents who have supported us for years renewed their marriage vows. Belkis said the ceremony was beautiful. This was one of the highlights of her year when the entire NPH family came together, celebrated love, and had a good time.

2. Godparents To Support Her

As with many children at NPH DR, Belkis has a strong relationship with her godparents. Every year for most of Belkis’ life, her godparents have traveled from Georgia, U.S., to visit her. The relationship with these godparents is special. She knew them before she was placed in the care of our NPH family. Talking about their importance in her life, Belkis spoke of a particularly difficult time around age 12. She was getting into fights with her peers and having problems in school.

During this time her godparents were not able to visit her, but their strong relationship endured. So when they heard what was happening, they decided to be more present for Belkis and visit her. Belkis specifically remembers this trip, saying, “I had really missed them and they sat down with me to talk through everything. They really helped me change my behavior.” They were there for her again this year by walking her to the stage to receive her diploma.

3. Graduation!

In June, Belkis accomplished a lifelong goal: graduating high school. The graduation itself was beautiful, except for the part where she almost fell walking up to the stage! For Belkis, however, this day meant so much more. “It was always a goal of mine,” says Belkis. “I am the first in my family to graduate high school. I wanted to graduate so that I could have the opportunity to go to university. That way I can help other people accomplish the same thing.”

With 2018 behind her, Belkis looks forward to a new year filled with opportunity. She hopes this time next year she will be in university, living joyfully, and studying to be a teacher.

Gabbie Risolvato   
Communications Officer Assisant

You may be only one person in the world, but you may be all the world to one child.
—Fr. William Wasson




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