Summer Time Fun at NPH DR

Between summer workshops and events, the summer was full of fun and learning.
September 1, 2018 - Dominikanische Republik

Volunteer Gabbie with a child during an event in the home.

At the NPH Dominican Republic home, we do things a little bit differently than most of the other NPH homes. Our school year begins in August and ends in June. This gives the children a two-month break from school and provides the home with a summer full of learning and fun.

Immediately following graduation, big changes occur in the home. In the NPH DR home, summer vacations are a time of transition for not just children, but volunteers and everyone else living at NPH DR as well.

Many of our children still have biological families in the Dominican Republic, who are loving and caring relatives, but they cannot live with them due to economic or other reasons. For these children, NPH offers a ‘second’ family, but one that encourages and fosters the child’s relationship with their biological one. During the summer break, these children have the option to go visit and temporarily live with their biological families.

This is also the time where volunteers transition. One group finishes their 13-month commitment, while another freshly begins.

This time is definitely a period of adjustment, as the children’s house sizes become smaller and new volunteers begin to learn the rules and norms of the home. It’s a joy to watch the new volunteers discover their place in the home and learn about the kids they will be working with. What an exciting thing, to be able to share a home full of children you love with more people.

This leaves a lot of time and opportunity to teach, play, and give a little extra love and attention to those children that spend their summer inside the home. One of the main ways the DR home tries to practice continued learning during the summer months is through workshops.

All the children choose a workshop to participate in which they spend four hours learning during the weekdays. These workshops include candle making, sewing, music, leather working, painting, sculpting, and dance. At the end of the summer, it was great to see all of their hard work come together in a showcase for the entire home.

Internships outside of NPH are another opportunity we provide to some of our older, hardworking children. This year some of the children had internships learning skills in accounting, mechanics, and hydropower. I was fortunate enough to be able to visit their places of work and photograph the children in action. I was so impressed to see them in action and hear the spectacular reviews from their bosses. The internships provide our kids with extremely valuable skills and life experience while also helping NPH become a bigger part of our surrounding community.

During the summer there were a number of events held at the home. Many of which were put on by the groups of visitors who are here working in the home for a few weeks at a time. However, the event most important of all was the event to end summer, Father Wasson Day. In our home we celebrate Father Wasson by having a reenactment of the founding story of NPH in Mexico. We also take time to celebrate each country that has an NPH home by learning about culture and traditions in each country.

It could not have been a more perfect day to put an end to summer. It was a day in our home where our entire family came together to learn, play, and share with each other. So here’s to the start of a happy, successful new year of learning and growing with my NPH DR family.

Gabbie Risolvato   
Communications Officer Assistant




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