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¡Greetings from Cochabamba!

Often the most heroic actions go unrecognized. These acts are subtle but valiant. They include overcoming fears, persevering when the rewards seem intangible, and brightening someone else's day. We are surrounded by heroes and heroines.

Peace and Blessings,

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Night of Talents

Many kids have hidden talents. In our homes, we have budding artists, captivated by colors and creating. We have athletes, drawn to challenging and exerting themselves physically. We have singers, jokers, dancers, bakers, and thinkers. We have individuals with unique skills, abilities, and passions. It is our job to help them explore and realize these talents.

Corazón del Pastor hosted a talent show to encourage our girls. Fourteen of the oldest girls presented in front of an enthusiastic crowd of tías and friends. They worked hard to prepare songs, dances, paintings, poems, stories, jokes, magic shows, baked items, and other talents for the special night. Performing is no small effort. The girls were giddy with nerves, but pulled off their presentations beautifully. It was a fun night, filled with laughter and applause. Impressive work, girls!

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Above Left: Evelyn, singing from the movie "Frozen".
Above Right: Cynthia presenting a korean song.

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Above Left: Kattia showing the swan she constructed out of recycled newspaper.
Above Right: Johana and Vanesa showing off some of their artwork.

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The arrival of a new family member is a special moment. The girls awaited the arrival of Laura, our newest member of Corazón del Pastor, with incessant questions: What will her favorite activity be? What sort of food will she like? Where will she sleep? Who will be her roommates? What will she be like? Imagining Laura was the intrigue of the home.

Laura arrived tired after her long journey from the city of La Paz, and over the next couple of weeks began to reveal her spunky personality. Laura surprised and delighted us all with her delicate temperament, her willingness to help and try new things, her optimism, and her shy but affectionate nature. At first, Laura was hesitant to interact with the other girls for fear of not being accepted. She was timid because of traumatic experiences in her past. Nonetheless, she adapted quickly to her new life, letting go of her initial fears and eagerly partaking in activities with the other girls.

Just weeks after Laura arrived, she performed in Corazón del Pastor's talent show. She courageously sang "Porque Me Quedo Muda," by Floricienta in front of dozens of new faces. Sitting in the audience, it was hard not to be inspired. For having very little prior experience exercising, she has been game to participate in the fitness program Tía Georgia has been leading. She loves riding bikes and taking Taekwondo class. We are so happy to have Laura as part of our family.

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Above Left: Laura unpacking the day she arrived.
Above Right: Here, with a relative who accompanied her to the home on her first day.

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Above Left: Bravely performing "Porque Me Quedo Muda" only a couple weeks into her stay.
Above Right: She's a little monkey.

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Above Left: Out at Zandra's house, with some of their little chicks.
Above Right: Laura, Kattia, Mariela, Karina, and Bryssa biking in the park.

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We also have a precious new addition to Pedacito de Cielo. Two-year-old Fabian loves to smile—and to eat. The other boys have been overjoyed to have a new little playmate, and have been showering him in affection.

Fabian arrived in very poor condition, with many signs of abuse, and unable to walk or talk. His leg muscles were very weak because he was never stimulated to walk or stand. The tías and volunteers diligently and patiently forced Fabian to increase his strength. When he grows up, perhaps he will not remember the challenge of learning to walk, but we sure will! Within the past few weeks, Fabian has made tremendous progress. He now willingly practices climbing stairs and can take several steps all on his own!

He is also a very curious boy: when something strikes his interest, he makes a gutsy effort to fetch it. It is also exciting to watch Fabian become more sociable, and learn to interact with the other kids and play on his own. With the constant love and support from all of the tías, we hope that his progress will continue.

Fabian Image 1     Fabian Image 2

Above Left: Yum!
Above Right: Is this food?

Fabian Image 3     Fabian Image 4

Above Left: Weeee =)
Above Right: I'm getting stronger every day.

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Above Left: Learning to play.
Above Right: Fabian can walk!

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If you never try, you cannot fail. But, you will also never succeed. This is a tough lesson to learn, because it may involve a lot of fails. Marcos fell dozens of times before he could bike across the basketball court all on his own. After each fall, he fought to quell his frustration—with himself and with the world—for not making it easy. Marcos struggles with anger management; however this time, he would not let that get in the way of his ambition to ride a bike.

Marcos dreams of riding a bicycle in order to save money on public transportation when he grows up. That way, he can give more money to help his Mom. Marcos comes to Corazón del Pastor on Saturday afternoons to practice bicycling in the park. It is exciting to see him channel his emotions and determination in positive ways. Marcos is very proud of his achievement, and so are we.

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Above: Riding solo!

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For 185 years, Bolivia has celebrated Mothers' Day in honor of las Heroínas de la Coronilla (Heroines of the Crown), a valiant group of women from Cochabamba who offered their lives for Bolivia's independence. The holiday is also a celebration of all mothers who are everyday heroines.

Mothers not only give us life, they support us, nourish us, and love us. They are by our side through some of the most critical periods in our lives—emotionally and physically. Our tías are devoted surrogate mothers for our kids. They are the ones who every day, protect and care for our kids, guiding them in the path to becoming adults—and eventually responsible and loving parents themselves.

In Bolivia, the mother typically runs the home. She takes care of her husband, and raises her children until they are well into adulthood. Not surprisingly, Mothers' Day is a very important holiday in Bolivia. To celebrate, the girls in Corazón del Pastor baked cakes to share with abandoned elderly women they have been volunteering with. This was a particularly meaningful experience for the girls because many of them lack their own mothers.

The tías celebrated with a Mothers' Day tea party, with beautiful flower arrangements and tea pastries prepared by Carolina. They read notes of appreciation from many of our friends and volunteers. Thank you tías for all your hard work and dedication!

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Above Left: Mothers' Day presentation.
Above Right: Bryssa and Paty spending time with their elderly friend.

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Above Left: Vanesa offering cakes.
Above Right: Evelyn reciting a poem for the elderly.

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Above Left: Vanesa and Evelyn next to a poster pronouncing elderly’s right to health.
Above Right: Thank you to all our Mamas!

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Above: Our wonderful tías celebrating over tea and cakes.

Fighting for Women's Rights and Respect

Talking about sex is often a taboo topic in many cultures that kids and grown-ups shy away from. Most early teens giggle their way through sexual education class, completing the course with little understanding of sexual anatomy and biology, sexually transmitted diseases, family planning, the complexity of sexual orientation and gender, and the history and current issues revolving sexual rights. Inadequate sexual education is strongly connected to gender inequality, violence against women, HIV and other sexually transmitted diseases. These issues are major concerns in Bolivia.

Our teens attended a sexual education fair to learn more about reproductive health. The girls engaged with the material through a variety of dynamic activities and presentations. Working for change is never easy. We are thankful for the brave souls that fight to improve the lives of women in Bolivia.

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Above Left: Evelyn and Mariela.
Above Right: Mariela, Vanesa, Johana, Evelyn, and Adriana.

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Above Left: Tía Marcela and Paty.
Above Right: Jhoselin, Johana, Evelyn, and Vanesa.

Too often do we search for inspiration and motivation from others only to realize that it was within us all along. It is rewarding to reflect on our very own kids and tías who are fighting and conquering their personal struggles, who work day-in-day-out to make the world a better place, and who are inspiring those around them.

Peace and Love from the children, staff and volunteers of Niños con Valor.

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Keep up to date with what is happening in NCV on our blog. You can also catch up on previous newsletters here. Enjoy!

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If you are in the US, you can either send a check made out to "Ninos con Valor" to the address below, or use our Groundspring online donation page.

Niños con Valor
c/o Laurel Fortin
23515 NE Novelty Hill Rd SteB221-#301
Redmond WA 98053

For instructions on donating outside of the US, please visit our donations page.

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We know that God loves kids too, so please keep us in your prayers, using these updates as a bit of a guide on what is happening, or by writing us here. We send out weekly prayer requests to those who join our prayermail list. We really appreciate the support!

 

  Learn More about our Projects

All of our programs seek to provide holistic care, as well as integrate children and families living with various physical and mental health issues, including HIV/AIDS.

CDP

Our home that currently provides care for 22 girls who have been orphaned, abandoned or removed from high-risk situations.

PDC

Our home that currently provides care for 13 boys who have been orphaned, abandoned or removed from high-risk situations.

SDE

Our transitional program, helping prepare teens for independent living once they leave our residential homes.

NCV Newsletter

23515 NE Novelty Hill Rd SteB221-#301
Redmond, WA   98053
USA
www.ninosconvalor.org | info@ninosconvalor.org
Questions? +1 425-891-6237

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