From Ashes to Hope
NPH continues to provide support to the community in any way that we can.
June 12, 2018 - Guatemala
The tragedy last June 3rd in Guatemala, the eruption of the Volcano de Fuego and the ash rain that followed, has left 110 dead, 3,557 people in shelters and more than 1,700,000 people affected.
The Volcano de Fuego is located 20 kilometers from our NPH Guatemala home. Thankfully our NPH family is safe and secure, including the children and families from the NPH OneFamily program living in the community, but severe damages are reported in other parts of the country.
International rescue protocols and looming ominous weather conditions in the country have led to the decision to suspend searches.
"In the midst of this situation, people need to know that the love of God is with us and that we will overcome this adversity," Marvin Lantan, Coordinator of Religion of NPH Guatemala, expressed.
Many Guatemalans have united in solidarity with the communities affected by the volcano. NPH has formed a response team and organized a relief program for the affected families.
Orlando Ramos, National Director of NPH Guatemala, explained that we have a social duty to help our communities, and a work plan has been designed with five focus areas to take action and support children and families.
1. Rescue: Provide the rescue groups with equipment (flashlights, masks and special footwear) that will allow them to enter the affected areas.
2. Medical support: Provide attention to victims and the prevention of further illnesses.
3. Food: NPH Guatemala has become a collection center to cover essential needs of people affected by the disaster.
4. Reconstruction of housing: Help families who have lost their homes. NPH will coordinate with the affected local communities.
5. Psychological and recreational care: NPH has a team of excellent local and international volunteers that will help the communities in different areas such as: Language and art therapy, clinical and child psychology.
National Director Orlando Ramos adds: "I need to respond as our founder Father Wasson would have: with the philosophy of helping those who need it the most. It fills me with pride that our teams are so involved with the cause, working with a lot of passion and conviction."
Shock experienced by children during natural catastrophes can cause trauma, which can inhibit personal or emotional development in adolescents if not addressed. Our religion team, youth group, and volunteers are continually visiting the children of the nearby Alotenango shelter to give support and do what we can to help children who were strongly affected during this time.
Natalie Mason, an international volunteer with NPH, shares her experience: "I am grateful to be part of the NPH team. The experience is very intense, people's sadness is overwhelming, I cannot imagine being a young child experiencing all this. NPH is doing an incredible job, not only at the time of the crisis, but through long-term projects."
This experience shows that NPH is a strong, supportive and loving family where Pequeños, staff and volunteers not only from Guatemala, but from countries all over the world, come together, providing hope and help to our brothers and sisters in need.