Volunteer and Fill Your Heart

Last February I set off on a short term volunteer trip to Nuestros Pequenos Hermanos (NPH, Spanish for “Our Little Brothers and Sisters”) in Mexico and Honduras, where we visited two children’s homes. NPH is a charitable organisation that care for orphaned, abused and abandoned children in 9 homes across different countries in Latin America and the Caribbean.

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I had been wanting to do some volunteer work for a while, and when I learned more about NPH I knew it was the right cause for me. I became involved in local fundraisers held by the New Zealand office.
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I think our small group set off thinking we were going to change a small part of the world; only to find we were the ones to walk away with fuller hearts, deeper compassion and human connection.
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At each home we ran activities with the children; and in Mexico we were lucky enough to participate in an English lesson at the primary school. We helped students with the alphabet and spelling words. In the vast sunny fields of Mexico we also planted banana and papaya trees; and in Honduras we worked in the tortilla factory.
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Everyone at NPH is passionate and hard working. The caregivers and volunteers work tirelessly and are the perfect example of NPH’s core value of unconditional love. We felt immediately welcomed, receiving warm smiles and greetings everywhere we went. The children often ran up to hold our hands and give us a hug; which quickly broke down any cultural barriers and allowed us to connect and communicate.
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At the Honduras home there were volunteers from all over the world giving their time and skills for at least a year. We were privileged to see the bond they had with the children and how they encouraged their growth each and every day. The short visit was an incredible opportunity and I hope to return one day.
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Back in New Zealand I continue to support the NPH New Zealand office by helping at events and raising awareness about NPH. One of the teenage boys said the sponsors are the best example of unconditional love, because they “don’t even know us but they still support us”.
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If you are open to volunteer work, I think you will know when you find a cause that aligns with you. We asked one of the leaders what he says when people ask why they should support NPH over other Charities – and he said – “…it doesn’t matter which cause you support, what matters is that you give”.
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I encourage you to get involved in some kind of work from the heart; as it just might change your perspective of the world.

Natasha Sutcliffe is a lawyer from Auckland who enjoys theatre, writing and fitness.
Instagram: @tashsutcliffe 
For more information about NPH please visit: www.nphusa.org