"I Take Care of My Younger Brother"

Keeping brothers and sisters together is one of the main goals of NPH.
April 2, 2018 - Bolivia

Cristiano* playing with a friend.

Cristiano* and Kenley* are cutting apples in the kitchen. The two brothers are competing to see who cuts faster and into smaller pieces. When you look at the six-year-old Cristiano and his eight-year-old brother happily helping cook, you see two happy siblings spending time together, like in every family worldwide.

In 2012, the two brothers came to NPH Bolivia. Due to social problems in their family, their previous home was not a safe place to stay for them anymore. Cristiano was only two years old, so he has no memories of this time.

Keeping brothers and sisters together is one of the main goals of NPH. Sibling relationships help children achieve developmental milestones, and they provide emotional support, companionship and comfort in their lives. These two brothers, like most of the children at NPH Bolivia, have the support of each other. Wilma, the caretaker of the two brothers, who has known them since their arrival, says, “Having each other helps these boys a lot. They feel stronger together.”

Having their sibling with them does not automatically mean that they only play with each other. Kenley and Cristiano are two absolute different characters. Kenley excels in the academic area. Answering the question about his favorite subject is easy: Mathematics.

Cristiano has never-ending energy. “I love to be outside and playing with my friends.” Soccer is his favorite sport. Even though he is the younger one, he makes the playtime decisions.

But in critical moments, they really take care of each other. Kenley knows, “I take care of my younger brother. He has to learn a lot. I help him.”

But back to cutting apples. The two brothers participate in “family project,” that the volunteers lead, which gives siblings the chance to spend one evening together: buying, preparing and eating dinner, like families everywhere do.

For Cristiano and Kenley, it is a special afternoon and evening. They are excited about the drive to the nearby market, very proud to help with the shopping, and enjoy carrying the biggest bag with fruits and vegetables and eating their ice cream. They have a good time preparing the food and even a better one eating it together.

*Name(s) are changed for privacy reasons.

Carina Eckl   
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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