2020: Generations of Faith and NPH USA Pequeño Tour Go Virtual Together
Save the Date! October 24th at 6:30pm
Join the St. Julia parish community for our annual inter-generational family faith formation event. With this unprecedented year, we invite families to a virtual cultural event to witness delicious Dominican cooking and shared recipes, view traditional dance / music, and engage in a rousing virtual Trivia competition to learn more about and support our Nuestros Pequeños Hermanos (NPH) families of the Dominican Republic as part of their Pequeño 2020 Tour. Stay tuned for more details to come!
(Watch video below to get a sampling):
What is the NPH USA 2020 Virtual Pequeño Tour?
Once a year, NPH USA arranges for youth from an NPH home to travel to the United States for an experience affectionately referred to as the Pequeño Tour. During the tour, the pequeño perform traditional songs and dances, share their stories, and participate in cultural and language exchange at various locations such as churches, schools, and businesses. The purpose of the tour is to raise awareness and funds in order to further NPH USA’s mission of transforming the lives of vulnerable children in Latin America and the Caribbean.
This year, due to current circumstances and in an abundance of caution, NPH USA has decided to suspend physical Pequeño Tours nationwide for 2020. While they are devastated to not be able to bring the children to visit in person, we are grateful for technology that allows us to simply take a different approach instead of completely canceling this incredible opportunity! NPH has put together a virtual Pequeño Tour package that will allow them to still share our NPH family with you! A cultural performance by our Pequeños, a testimony from a Pequeño sharing their story of growing up at NPH, an introduction to the newly appointed CEO, John Deinhart, diverse ways parishioners can support our NPH family, and MORE!
An excerpt from the July 30, 2020 update from Dr. Edwin Vallecillo, Director of Medical Services, NPH International:
Six months have passed since the beginning of the COVID-19 health emergency. Latin America and the Caribbean remain at the epicenter of the COVID-19 pandemic. It is still difficult to predict the long-term impact this infectious disease will have in the region, but we anticipate major setbacks in areas like malnutrition, the poverty rate, harm to vulnerable and disabled children, access to formal education and healthcare services, increased domestic violence, and the impact on mental health and public health. Today, quarantines continue in force in most countries and borders remain closed with justifiable cause; however, with each passing day, the risk of economic collapse increases and pushes us closer to the point of permanent social setbacks.
Most governments in the region cannot afford stimulus efforts since there are limited economic resources to fund them. Of course, NPH is a first-hand witness to this sad scenario, which stands as an obstacle to our natural desire to eradicate poverty and advance sustainable development goals. This desire is stronger than ever in all NPH employees and their local communities. Every day we ask ourselves, “What we can do to contribute our grain of sand to create more just societies?” This is the cause that moves us each day.We see increases in social inequality in the marginalized areas of urban centers. We watch with concern as more and more families take to the streets in search of food and money. This is only part of the panorama, however; in rural areas that historically have been forgotten, the scene is even worse. Economic and social setbacks in these areas are what concern us most, so much so that at NPH we continually strive to fulfill our own mission and vision – how do we get closer to these communities while at the same time provide protection and family support to other populations that are totally unprotected? The impoverished and forgotten rural areas are those that perpetuate these cycles of extreme poverty and a lack of basic human rights.
Daily at NPH we witness the power of solidarity and the power that each person has to create change in the world. It is through the selfless actions of individual donors and companies that we continue to deliver services to all the children and adults who benefit from our programs.
In the fight against this pandemic, though we see a society shaken by COVID-19, NPH continues to fund medical teams that help lead the health strategy in each NPH home; to offer a safe home for hundreds of families; to offer a balanced diet; to provide access to potable water and mental health services; to empower youth, women, and adolescents; and to provide other vital services in Latin America.
At NPH we are blessed to be able to observe the miracle of life and the miracle of overcoming death through love, just as was recently the case with one of the youngest members of our family who managed to beat the COVID virus despite a pessimistic prognosis. Access to healthcare services, early medical intervention, and the right medication are crucial. But the compassion, care, and support of a loving family and a close-knit community make an even bigger difference in the triumph of miracles like the one we experienced with our beloved little girl who is already back with her friends after a hospitalization that kept us waiting anxiously.
We continue to pray for the health of our entire community and the extended NPH family; we pray for the wisdom of our leaders, for national unity, and for international solidarity.
We pray for all the people who COVID-19 has taken away their loved ones and pray for all who every day fight this evil, that God will continue to give them strength, health, and encouragement to move forward. On the part of NPH, we will continue to care for and accompany as many as possible on their path to recovery as they bravely fight against COVID-19.
St. Julia parishioner and tenth grader, Theo Luu has been spending this past summer teaching a coding program, Scratch, to a group of ten year- olds at Casa Santa Ana ranch in the Dominican Republic. Scratch was created by MIT Media Lab, a block-based visual programming language where you can make interactive stories, games, and animations. This is one of many outreach endeavors inspired by our partnership with NPH.