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  • Barbara Dobilas

Orphan's Hope Project - Help and Hope!

Updated: May 27

Me and my girls - Nicaragua May 2016
Me and my girls - Nicaragua May 2016

by: Barbara Dobilas, OHP Administrator - May 25, 2024


The Orphan's Hope Project (OHP) was started in 2010, under the auspices of the NC Mission of Hope. That was 14 years ago and a lot has happened since then.  Inflation is higher than ever and the cost of basic food and necessities have gone way up. All of the children in the program attend school but must have uniforms and shoes by government order. And while the number of children has fluctuated over the years, recently we have had a large number come to the orphanages. We now find ourselves with more children than sponsors and this has a direct impact on how far the monthly donations will go. So we need your help!


First, I want to thank everyone who has renewed their 2024 OHP sponsorship. It is much appreciated.   However, we have seen a decline in the number of sponsorships and this will directly impact the monthly amount that is distributed to the orphanages.  We are anxiously looking for more sponsors to become involved and commit to a year (or more) of sponsorship.  At $300 per year - less than a dollar a day - this goes a long way towards helping the children have healthy, reliable food, and assistance with educational and medical expenses.  These goals have always been the hallmark of this program.


The success of the program has a direct correlation to the financial assistance we are able to provide. When a child does not have to worry about where their next meal is coming from or go to school hungry, they will learn better, and study harder. The only way to end the cycle of poverty is through education!


I have met many, many children on my trips to Nicaragua. Many have spent most of their childhood at the orphanages run by the Sisters.  These orphanages are life-savers in the truest sense of the word. The Sisters are kind, practical and caring and give the children a home.  I've watched the children grow, go to school and some have even gone on to University, despite the odds.


And we have OHP success stories! Please take a moment to read about two of our superstars, Sayda and Mileydis.

 

Meet Sayda


I’ve known Sayda Rivas since she was 12.  Having no family that could care for her, she lived with the nuns and other children at El Crucero orphanage in the mountains outside of Managua.  She studied hard, has a great hug and a beautiful smile.  Her prayerful singing each morning as she helped the younger children get ready for their school day was angelic and is something I will always remember.   

 

Dr. Sayda OHP Success Story
Dr. Sayda at work in the barrios

Sayda’s desire was always to help others and she has accomplished just that as she is now a doctor.  After many years of schooling, despite financial and in-country turbulence, she has achieved her dream.  A recent note from her said: ( I edited for length and clarity)

 

“Madrina - I send big hugs! I remember when I was a small child, I would cry for food before I came to live with the Sisters.  Now, I want to be a person for change in my society, and to help other children.  

 

Each time that I have the opportunity to speak with girl children, I recount my history, and my search for the way out.  I share with them what I know; that education is the best way to combat poverty.  Now thanks to all the people who helped me, I can help others.”

 

I'm so happy for Sayda! And I know that Sayda’s OHP sponsors over the years, Sr. Stephanie and Gail G. are equally proud of Sayda’s success!


Meet Mileydis


Another young woman I met at the onset of the program in 2010, is Mileydis Levia.  She along with her younger brother Carlos, lived at the orphanage in El Crucero as their single mother was unable to care for them.  Her sponsors, Rich and Val S., sponsored both children over the years. 

 

Mileydis reading over my shoulder on a mission trip
Mileydis reading Dr. Seuss's Green Eggs and Ham over my shoulder!

I remember Mileydis as a serious and determined young girl.  And I fondly remember the time that she helped me read “Green Eggs and Ham” by Dr. Seuss in Spanish to the other children.  At 11, she would correct my poor pronunciation; and it makes me smile to this day!

Dr. Mileydis - Homeopathics
Doctor Mileydis - Homeopathics

 

Mileydis has just graduated from the University of Oriental Medicine in Managua, Nicaragua.  Here in the States,


she would be considered a Homeopathic doctor.  She is so excited and truly grateful for the sustained help she received over these years.  Like Sayda, Mileydis plans to stay in her home country and use her education to help her fellow Nicaraguans wherever and however she can.


So proud of two of our success stories!

Two remarkable young women!  We are so proud of them both!  They never gave up, kept their eyes on the future and the possibilities of hope.  It is truly remarkable and inspiring.

 

In telling you about these two young women, I want you to know that OHP sponsorships CAN AND DO make a difference.  Your support, financial aid, interest, and prayers have gone a long way in helping these and other children improve their lives and to make a difference in their troubled country.

 

So, thank you again for your renewals.  And if you didn’t renew, might you reconsider?  Or if this is program is new to you, we’d love to have you sign up! One child, one sponsorship, one life at a time, we are keeping our promise of bringing HOPE.




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