After being reunited through the NPH OneFamily program, the Sanchez family makes the most of their Christmas by sharing the gift of presence. November 18, 2018 - Honduras
Mrs. Sanchez, Tulia, and Raul take a picture in front of their home.
Christmas is a special time of year, and for many it’s the highlight of the season. Across cultures you will find family members and friends exchanging gifts, singing along to carols, decorating their homes, and preparing tasty meals. Little by little, the temperature drops and the air fills with excitement. Everyone puts the ordinary aside and focuses on the approaching festivities, but amidst the rush of all the activities it’s easy to lose sight of the true meaning and value of the holiday: family, love, and gratitude.
Just as much as any other Honduran family, the Sanchez household enjoys participating in traditional Christmas activities, like buying new clothes; setting off fireworks; and eating syrup-drenched donuts, caramelized squash, and meat-filled tamales. But for the family, the most important part is spending time together.
The key to a good Christmas is simplicity. “Nothing is really planned out,” says Mrs. Sanchez. The fun begins on Christmas Eve, Dafne*’s birthday, and continues onto Christmas day when friends and family over to help prepare a big meal, listen to music, and chat in the living room.
After nine years apart, Ms. Sanchez and all four of her children are back together and are looking forward to spending their second Christmas as a family. Whereas before Christmas day was one of the few occasions on which the family could be together, they now see each other on a regular basis, through the support of NPH’s family reintegration program.
It’s been a full house since sisters Dafne and Tulia* returned two years ago through the NPH OneFamily program, but there haven’t been any complaints. Although the girls still reminisce about their time at NPH Honduras and miss their friends, they’re grateful to be back.
“Mom loves us a lot and it’s good to be home with her even if she gives us chores and disciplines us,” says Tulia with a smile. To which her mom heartily chuckles and responds, “I’m glad to have them by my side and I appreciate all the work that they do to help out around the house.”
Through the NPH OneFamily program, children who want to reintegrate with their families can do so with the permission of the government’s child welfare agency (DINAF) and the long-term assistance and specialized support provided by NPH. Our team of psychologists and social workers ensure that the children’s rights are upheld and that they are empowered to reach their goals in a positive environment while simultaneously helping to strengthen their families.
Christmas is a great time to remember that “It’s not about what you get, it’s about what you’ve got.” The members of the Sanchez Family have each other, their values, and the support from NPH to keep giving and receiving the gift of presence, something that they can enjoy together well beyond the holiday season.
*Name changed for privacy purposes.
Arielle Augustin Communications Officer
You may be only one person in the world, but you may be all the world to one child.
—Fr. William Wasson