Our Voices: Melvin from NPH El Salvador
Before Melvin arrived at NPH El Salvador, he had never attended school. For Our Voices, he wrote a four page letter thanking God, godparents and NPH staff for supporting during the COVID-19 pandemic.
March 10, 2021 - El Salvador
Dear the World,
My name is Melvin* and I am 18-years-old. I am in my second year-of-service before I start university, and I am taking care of a group of younger boys.
May the blessing of the Lord be upon you all. I hope you are well and surrounded by your loved ones. I also wish you are healthy and have faith in God in order to continue facing COVID-19 and the problems it has caused.
I feel protected from the situation with COVID-19. I have always felt safe at my NPH El Salvador home. I feel really lucky to be part of this family I recognize all the opportunities they continue to provide me, even in difficult circumstances. I thank, firstly God, and then godparents and donors who continue to support me and my NPH siblings. I feel the luckiest and grateful boy in the world because, despite this situation, I am well cared for and I feel loved by God and my NPH family. Still though, I ask God to support all those who are suffering, who have absolutely nothing, and the helpless families. I worry for children who live on the streets and put themselves at risk to get something to eat. I ask God to take care of them.
Another of the biggest anxieties is wondering if I shall see my godparents again, to hug them and tell them how much I love them. Having a godparent is like having a friend. We constantly write letters to each other; we talk about what is happening in our lives. I have known some of my godparents for about eight years and during that time, we have formed a beautiful friendship. Iíve had the opportunity to meet some of them in person. I feel very lucky and grateful for being part of their lives.
I also feel worried about my family and friends who live outside of NPH. Most of them live in difficult conditions. El Salvador has many people living in poverty: too many! They cannot find a job and they donít receive support from other people. I canít support them economically either, but I pray for them every day. I ask God to protect them and for the virus to end soon.
I have hopes and dreams for the future. One of them is to continue studying. I would like to study Communications or Tourism, to guide me to what I love the most: being able to communicate in an active and dynamic way so I get to know them better.
Iíve always dreamed of having a camera and to take photos of landscapes and people, which I really love to do. Taking pictures is something I enjoy doing, although it would never be a job for me. I consider it a hobby. Iíll continue asking God to help fulfill my dreams and, in the future, to have my own family and teach them everything Iíve learned at NPH.
I arrived at NPH in 2011. Since that moment, I knew my life would change for the better. Before arriving, I lived with different people not related to me. I felt abandoned and they treated me badly. I didnít eat three meals-a-day, nor did I attend school and know anything about God. I remember that they sent me to work, and if I didnít do what I was told, they hit me. I lived that way for seven years. I didnít have the childhood that a child deserves. After some time, I moved to a home with children, but I didnít have too many opportunities there either.
Fortunately, after spending a year in that home, I arrived at NPH. I had just turned nine. Since that moment, I started to feel different. I felt respected, loved, and well cared for. I started to study to learn everything I possibly good. Before NPH, I had never been to school. Education was a luxury, with books and pencils and a teacher. With lots of effort and hard work, I was able to learn the different subjects and about God. Now everything has changed for me. I have an education and spiritual development, I eat three meals-a-day, I have snacks, and healthcare, clothes, and most importantly, I have a family.
We are currently living in quarantine, which we have done many different activities, but I love the recreational ones the most. Weíve had soccer, basketball and volleyball games, movie time, karaoke, and the best of all (for me), dance. We have had Zumba sessions and Iíve enjoyed it a lot. I really like to dance because it helps me to get rid of stress.
During COVID-19, we have learned to be closer and continue praying for one another even though this situation is affecting us all. I will never get tired of thanking God. I feel grateful for all the opportunities Iíve received and the opportunity to be part of this family that has filled my life with much love and joy.
I also would like to thank to thank everyone who makes this work of love possible, such as the medical staff, the administrative staff, the social workers, the chefs, the teachers, and especially our caregivers who take care of us and treat us as if we are their own children. Thank you from the bottom of my heart. God bless you all!
To finish, I want to again thank all my godparents and donors. I will continue praying to God to protect you and keep you well and happy in your homes. I love you with all my heart and I will never get tired of thanking you.
*Name changed for privacy reasons.
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Yeal of Service youth at NPH El Salvador