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  Fall 2015 Newsletter  
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Lives in

Good Morning NCV family!

There are many words to describe what takes place in people as we go through processes of change in our lives - transformation, metamorphosis, conversion, etc - yet no matter the term used, the result is the same: who we were, and who we have become, merged together on the journey towards who we are becoming.

It has been several months since we last sent a newsletter, so we have packed this one full, highlighting a few of the kids who have experienced significant change recently, celebrating this evolutionary journey in their lives.

Peace and Blessings,
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Let's do this thing
One of the things we learned early on, shortly after we opened Corazón del Pastor girls' home, is that children requiring residential care usually have siblings who have suffered as well. In fact, nearly two-thirds of our children have brothers or sisters who are also living with us!

Johana and Jhoselin are twin sisters living in CDP along with their two younger siblings - Karina and Nohemi. Since their arrival, the sisters have all be very supportive of one another, and this has been a huge factor in their progress over the years. While we work hard to provide all of our children with a true family in our homes, there is something about facing life's challenges with a sibling at your side.

In October, Johana and Jhoselin celebrated a major milestone in their lives - they turned 15! For eight years we have watched as these young girls grew, developed their own unique personalities, and have become young women. As we marked this important moment in their lives, the sisters were joined by their parents and brother, bringing together their biological family and the family that has raised them, in an evening of celebration.

Without a doubt, raising siblings who have biological relatives, yet are unable to live with them, presents its challenges. However, what we have seen through the lives of Johana, Jhoselin, Karina and Nohemi, is that no matter how difficult the road forward may be, not having to walk it alone makes a huge difference.
Twins Image Karina and Nohemi back in 2011. Twins Image Shortly after their arrival, it was clear there was a strong sibling bond. Twins Image Snapping photos of the twins has been easy, since they are always together. Twins Image A few years back, they danced together in a traditional dance. Twins Image Even as they entered their teens, they have always been a support for one another.
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Helping His Voice
Be Heard
Timoteo first became part of our lives indirectly. Our international director, Tyson Malo, volunteered at one of the large state homes in the city, and 2-3 times a week headed out in a taxi with 4 children who required physical therapy in a center across town. One of these four children was Timoteo, who at the time was just an infant. He was non verbal, could not hold eye contact, and never smiled.

Flash forward 7 years, and we met him again as we took teams to visit a residential therapy center in Puntiti, as a part of our reality tour. Sure enough, there was Timoteo. Only now, he was smiling, engaging with us as we walked around the center, and speaking! This was big, as his was the only verbal resident at Puntiti, and the sisters running the facility felt that he would flourish better in a family environment. At the time, our boys' home was still relatively new, and we were unable to consider having him come to live with us, but the seed was sown.

Timoteo came to live with us in the Spring, and what the nuns had hoped has happened. He is developing rapidly, gaining social skills, learning about responsibility, and most importantly, making friends.

Sometimes the road to transformation is full of curves, and many different people come along the way to guide us and provide us with what we need to press on. In children like Timoteo, who face special challenges beyond the lack of relatives in their lives, this type of collaborative effort, and the hope that sustains it, can bring about miraculous change.

Timoteo Image Timoteo at the state home when he was a baby. Timoteo Image Being fed at the therapy center. Timoteo Image Praying before a meal. Timoteo Image Having a chat with psychologist, Carlos.
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A Girl with a Lot of Heart
It seems that since we first learned of Claudia's case in mid-2014, our sweet, shy 4-year-old has faced more obstacles than most. After the passing of her father, she was referred to us due to her health situation, which included a congenital heart defect called Tetralogy of Fallot.

The 14 months between when we first heard of her case, and her operation which took place two weeks ago, has been an uphill struggle. The courts needed to evaluate and approve her transfer to Cochabamba, the doctors involved needed to evaluate risks and ensure her immune system was strong enough for a major operation, and her father's insurance company needed to take the steps necessary in order to approve coverage.

Throughout the process, Claudia's trust in all involved has been unwavering, and her courage is inspiring. Her story is a reminder that the process of change often requires patience, and at times may even be painful, yet that we should not turn away from moving forward.

On November the 9th, Claudia entered into surgery at 8:00 in the morning, and by 12:30 we received the news that the surgery had gone well. She was moved out of ICU on the 16th, but returned on the 23rd, and today is undergoing another major surgery aimed at correcting complications that arose during recovery. We continue hoping and praying for a complete recovery.
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Leadership Through
Not all the change that we are seeing is taking place in the lives of our children. Paola Navarro, our executive director, has been an incredible leader for our programs mostly because she is someone who is constantly growing herself. Paola joined us first in an adminstrative role back in May 2007, and her passion for the vision of Niños con Valor, along with her unwavering commitment to the children, has made her an inspiration to us all.

Asked about her role and the impact it has had in her life, Paola explains that while at times the responsibility can be daunting, knowing that lives are dependent upon your efforts, she has learned so much from the children, has been inspired by their courage, and has become a better mom to her own children.

Two boys, in particular, have made a significant impact in all areas of her life. Guillermo, who underwent the same surgery as our little Claudia did last week, literally transformed her whole family. Everyone in her family became very involved in Guillermo's care and recuperation during and after his operation, learning about compassion in a way that only such an experience can. Eventually, they adopted him into their family, a decision that has brought such a joy not only into her own life, but also that of her husband and children. This experience has given testimony to how dedication and love can truly change a child's life completely.

Alvaro, who passed away in April 2014, also impacted Paola, but in a much different way. Witnessing the indifference and poor quality of care he suffered in his final days fomented a righteous anger, and reminded her of what we are ultimately striving for in Niños con Valor. It taught her and all of us, that we must reject apathy in the face of injustice, and dedicate all of who we are to making this world a better place.
Paola Image Paola sharing a fun moment with Natalia. Paola Image At her first Moda Loca in 2008 - not sure what she is doing :) Paola Image Bringing Guillermo home from the hospital. Paola Image Mother and son. Paola Image Paola, comforting Alvaro, in the small room he had to stay when he first arrived at hospital due to lack of beds.
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The Long Road
Natalia and Samuel joined us a year ago, having traveled over 8 hours from a small mining town just north of La Paz, to the growing city of Cochabamba, Bolivia. As they both require special health care not currently available in La Paz, we were contacted by the authorities there requesting space in our homes.

In this newsletter, we have been focusing mainly on the positive transformation we are witnessing in the lives of our children and staff. However, there are events in our lives that can bring about changes that are both unanticipated and undesired. In the case of Natalia and Samuel, these changes included the loss of their mother, leaving their community behind, traveling to a culture very different from the one they had grown up in, and entering into the very foreign routines of Pedacito de Cielo and Corazón del Pastor. All of our children upon arrival face similar challenges, as well as the question that all of us face when external events impose precipitous change - how, then, will I respond?

Natalia and Samuel decided to press on forward. With the support of one another, of the staff, and of the other children in the home, we have seen amazing progress made in both of their lives over the past 14 months. Despite being far behind developmentally, they are both rapidly catching up with their peers, and have discovered talents that they never knew existed.

The transformation we are seeing in their lives, however, is ultimately not due to the move, or to the many opportunities they now have. It is because they made a decision to look ahead with hope, always moving on and up.
nataliasamuel Image Samuel with a gift from friends in the US. nataliasamuel Image Natalia shelling peas with Claudia earlier this month. nataliasamuel Image Samuel sharing a laugh with Kimber. nataliasamuel Image Natalia showing off her taekwondo at a talent show. nataliasamuel Image And... Samuel sharing his talents as well.
Stepping into the Future: A Community of Integration
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One of the key areas of focus in our model of child care, is that of integration. Since 2008, we have become a national leader in providing care and advocacy for children living with HIV, and have trained our staff and readied our homes, to integrate children with a variety of special needs. Currently, over half of our boys and girls are living with medical, physical, or developmental special needs, and the results we have seen have been incredible.

Comunidad Niños con Valor will help us expand this important aspect of our work in three important ways. First, by increasing our capacity, we will be able to ensure that more children requiring this type of care can receive it. Both our homes are now over capacity, and the requests for placement come in every week. Second, our houses will be designed with complete accessibility in mind, including for children with more sever physical limitations. In our current rental facilities, we are restricted due to the layout of the homes, yet our vision is to create a model of care that will mean that we never have to say "no" to receiving a child, except when we reach absolute capacity. And third, by offering an on-site center where many of our children's daily therapy needs can be met.

Integration, which is a part of acceptance, is essential in a child's journey. Being accepted and being believed in by others, leads to self-acceptance and self-confidence, two key ingredients to positive transformation.
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A Step of Faith
Faith is foundational in our lives, yet for children who have suffered neglect or abuse, often in the care of people for proclaim to believe in God, and who attend church, the journey to spiritual healing can be long and difficult.

Niños con Valor has always taken a supportive role, providing our children with opportunities, while encouraging them to explore their beliefs at their own pace. This Summer, several of our children expressed an interest in being baptized. After working through the decision with our staff psychologists, and learning more about what the decision means from the pastoral staff of their church, those who we felt were making the decision out of a genuine understanding of what baptism signifies, participated in a special Sunday event at La Trinidad.

Evolution in our lives is often slow and fluid, yet symbolic moments like this, and like the 15th birthday celebration we shared about above, give testimony to the progess that is being made, and the transformation that is taking place.
Sponsorship Spotlight
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Paty was one of the first girls to arrive in Corazón del Pastor. From the beginning we could tell this little 7-year-old had a unique personality and that she would keep us busy with her seemingly endless supply of energy. She was far behind developmentally, but her positive attitude has helped her make huge strides.

Now 16-years-old, Paty has grown to be a responsible teen, with a very compassionate heart. She likes to dance, especially hip-hop, and is determined to continue on to college and have a healthy family of her own.

If you would like to sponsor one of our children, and help them on their own journey to transformation, please visit our sponsorship page to learn how you can do so!
Paty Image Paty shortly after she arrived.
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Alandra is one of five sibling living in our two homes. As we mentioned above, this can be a major support for our children as they grow up. When this sibling group arrived, however, their relationships had been fractured by what they had experienced. Now, however, Alandra is a supportive middle sister, and while she was withdrawn when she first arrived, she is now one of the funniest, happiest girls in the home.

While she likes to joke around, Alandra is serious about her studies, and would like to study law so someday, she can "help people with their problems."

If you would like to sponsor one of our children, and help them on their own journey to transformation, please visit our sponsorship page to learn how you can do so!
Paty Image Alandra shortly after she arrived.
  Our Programs  
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.
Our home that provides care for up to 24 girls who have been orphaned, abandoned or removed from high-risk situations.
Our home that provides care for up to 14 boys who have been orphaned, abandoned or removed from high-risk situations.
We also host volunteers, who fulfill important roles within our programs. Click here to learn more.
Our transitional program, helping prepare teens for independent living once they leave our residential homes.
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Ninos con Valor Inc
NE Novelty Hill Rd SteB221-#301
Redmond, WA 98053
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