A Fresh Start in Nicaragua

A new education and lifestyle brings hope to the family of Fabio, one of NPH Nicaragua's newest semi-internal students.
May 17, 2017 - Nicaragua

Fabio and his older sister, Jeymi

Changing your lifestyle overnight is not an easy task, especially at eleven years old, but Fabio* feels up to the challenge.

Fabio is one of NPH Nicaragua’s newest arrivals. He joined the family about two months ago with a group of 15 other boys. These new arrivals are a part of the growing semi-internal program for children to live on-site at Casa Padre Wasson between Monday and Friday every week and then spend the weekends at home with their families. Often, these children come to prevent them from getting involved with social risks present in their community, such as the presence of gangs and drug usage.

Before coming to NPH in February, Fabio lived full-time with his 23-year-old sister Jeymi. Their mother moved away about eight years ago to pursue better job opportunities and provide more for her children. She maintains contact with them through phone calls and occasional visits, but spends much of her time away working and sending money home. “She works hard for us, but it has been really difficult for Fabio not having her here, present,” said Jeymi. Fabio’s father has never been a part of his life.

Fabio attended a number of different schools before NPH, but routinely had problems with skipping classes and not completing his homework. His sister said he would disappear during the day or on weekends, and she would not know where he went.

Living at NPH is a complete change of pace for Fabio. Here, he goes to school every day, has chores, washes his own clothes, and takes turns completing other tasks with the other boys. NPH has an integration process that can take anywhere from two to six months for new arrivals so they can learn the rhythm of daily life. For Fabio, that means making progress step by step. He still occasionally does not complete all his homework, and his sister hopes to see his grades rise more, but she acknowledges that his situation is improving and that the process is not one of immediate, complete change.

On the other hand, Fabio has discovered a passion for the Church, between enjoying Mass at NPH every Monday morning and being fascinated by the pilgrimages that take place all over Nicaragua leading up to Easter. The pilgrimage from NPH takes three days with little rest, so the older students are those who participate. “I’m going, for sure, as soon as I’m old enough that they let me,” he said.

Fabio enjoys his language and math classes, and looks forward to participating in English and computation workshops. “We didn’t have English or computation at my other schools, and the programs seem really good,” he said. “I want to learn them.” He also likes having planned activities as well as free time to play with the other children, and looks forward to various opportunities to come participate in weekend activities.

Jeymi is very excited that Fabio has the opportunity to live and study at NPH. She thinks the structure of life will be good for him, and is relieved that he will no longer disappear without informing her of where he is going.

“I really like, over all, that NPH has made so many advances and had so much success. They have their own workshops, they all go to mass, and there is someone watching over the children,” said Jeymi. “It gives me hope.”

The semi-internal program at NPH Nicaragua will continue to grow in cooperation with the Nicaraguan division of Family Services.

*Name changed for privacy purposes.

Emily Doyle   
Communication Officer

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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