Emily* and Sam* are two siblings who live in the community outside our home; they are part of our Centro de Atención Infantil (CAI) and their lives have become brighter when they became part of our daycare program. March 20, 2018 - El Salvador
This is Emily* a smiley 3-year-old who is part of our CAI.
Our Centro de Atención Infantil (CAI), 'Infant Care Center,' opened this year, offering a service to children who live in the community outside our home and for the kids of former NPH children who now have their own families. CAI started with 19 children at the end of January 2016, and with the pass of time, more children joined our daycare. By the end of December, there were 48 children in our program.
This is the story of two kids, Emily* and Sam,* who started to attend CAI at the beginning of February. Sam is 7 years old and his little sister Emily is 3. They are the youngest of 6 siblings. Back at home, their mother and father work hard in order to provide the kids what they need to live. However, it is very difficult for them to provide education, since even the public schools have a cost which they are not able to afford. The oldest kids - Amanda* 17, Antonio* 15, Valeria* 13, and Adriana* 11 - are not studying, except for Adriana, who finished 5th grade. The oldest help their parents by working on the fields, and the youngest take care of the little ones at home.
However, this year, the lives of the youngest angels of this family changed, because Emily and Sam had the opportunity to attend our CAI. According to their mother, Angela,* CAI is "a blessing for the family." "My children are able to study and spend a good time at the daycare. I have noticed a big change in both of them. I have noticed that Sam likes to write (he learned how to write this year) and color on his notebooks and Emily is very outgoing; she dances and laughs a lot and she is always very talkative." Sam attended kindergarten this year, and he graduated. It was a great achievement for him.
While education is important, also having a good meal is imperative for the wellbeing of the kids. Every day at CAI, the children receive breakfast, lunch and two snacks - which include a variety of fruit, cookies, oatmeal, and candies - and that is something that Angela is very thankful for. "The kids tell me they eat delicious food at the daycare: They eat chicken, meat, different soups and salads, and they drink milk, juices, and cold water; and we are not able to give them that. We barely have rice, beans and tortillas."
"We are very grateful with NPH because they provide a good service to our kids. We go to work knowing that the children are ok, that they are being take care of, that they are learning and eating good food, that they even have access to a clinic in case they get sick or fall down, and that they also receive love from teachers and caregivers. I notice how much my children love their teachers, and vice versa." Angela says that if CAI didn't exist, her children would be probably at home because Emily is too young for the public school and Sam would probably have to stop attending school, like his siblings, because of the lack of resources to pay.
CAI is really making a difference for these children.
Our CAI ended up the year by serving 100 meals and 100 snacks a day for all the children who attend. For NPH, it is important to provide a balanced diet to our kids, including the children from CAI, because it is important for their growth and is an essential part of their healthcare. Stories like Emily and Sam's motivate us to continue working hard to help the kids outside our community, because that is what we are here for.
*Names changed for privacy reasons.
Carmina Salazar Communication and Project Coordinator
You may be only one person in the world, but you may be all the world to one child.
—Fr. William Wasson