A child discovers where individual strength and growth comes from. October 13, 2016 - Dominican Republic
Yasser*, a cheerful and skilled boy, came to the NPH family when he was almost one year old. He is now already 10 years old and in sixth grade. At his young age he can explain the importance of food and narrate to us with details the trajectory of food starting with the kitchen to his house, and from his house to the farm.
Children bringing food from the kitchen
In school Yasser has learned that the concept of living things includes a large variety of species from the smallest insects to the largest animals on the farm, and that also includes plants and humans. He has also learned that all living beings have to eat and drink water in order to live. “Eating gives us strength and makes us grow until we are big,” says Yasser.
Every day at noon, the food is picked up from the central kitchen and carried to the house to be served to each individual child. Before being sent, the kitchen assures how many children and adults there are in each house to send the correct amount and make sure no one is left out. Once the food is brought, the caregiver (sometimes with the help of a child) serves the food to each individual child. The caregivers make sure to serve a fair amount to each one. Before eating, a prayer is said and the meal is enjoyed with the family.
“Food is not thrown away,” is a phrase that is very clear in the life of each child. If Yasser is satisfied and a few spoonful’s of food remain on his plate, he shares with his friends. “The children like to share and not only with their food, but also things like their clothes with their friends, brothers, and sisters,” the caregiver explains.
In the house everything is put to good use. We make use of the fruit and vegetable peels, eggshells, and everything organic to fertilize the plants. At the same time, we use recyclable materials to make art.
Many of our children arrive to the home without having had proper nutrition before, and sometimes without having a basic level of education. Through the practice of classifying the trash and recycling, our children learn to reuse things, learn about caring for the environment, and at the same time learn how to save.
*Name changed to protect privacy
Daniela Candelario Communication Officer
You may be only one person in the world, but you may be all the world to one child.
—Fr. William Wasson