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Greetings from Cochabamba!

Children are like little plants: growing from seeds that need to be sown in soil rich with nutrients, where they will receive regular watering, and find strength in the rays of the sun.

It is in the same way that our children, when they are able to grow up in a place rich in stimulation, warmth, love and protection, acquire many skills and abilities, and as we take care to respond to and nourish their needs, they blossom into young men and women with strong values​​, commitment, and an abundance of love for those around them.

Peace and Blessings,

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The family is the nucleus of society, and in each family, each member is important and has a special place. In most families, parents or relatives are primarily responsible for the growth, education and development of their children.

In a healthy family, it is important that these adults should set aside time to reflect, coordinate, and empathize with each other and the children. The task set before parents can often become stressful, so it is also important to have some time away from the little ones for fun and sharing, all the more when the family is a big as the Niños con Valor family. With this in mind, we had a retreat with of all of our caregivers and support staff, sharing a time of unity and solidarity, working through some of our weaknesses as a team, and reinforcing our strengths. What a great day to get to know one another, and plan how we can best nourish the children who are the reason we are all together!

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Top Left: Edith and Rose Mary playing "pass the paper".
Top Right: The tías during a moment of reflection.

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Top Left: The tías of Corazón del Pastor creating their "Dream House."
Top Right: The tías of Pedacito de Cielo showing their finished project.

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What an intense, emotional experience to watch many of our younger children present for the first time in public! Many adults are afraid to of standing before a large audience, yet not our "pedacitos", who set aside all shyness, in order to dance and act with such charisma, making for a wonderful show, and some very proud "tías".

This activity was a great demonstration of how our children are developing in their schools, and gaining more self-esteem and self-confidence - great job!

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Top Left: Eneas with his dance partner.
Top Right: Diego and the other boys lining up before their presentation.

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Top Left: Manolo with the mischievous look that characterizes him.
Top Right: Marcos is a bit nervous before starting his dance.

Pajama Party!!! No sleeping tonight!!!

With pajamas on, and pillows and blankets all over the living room, we celebrated Pedacito de Cielo's first sleepover! They played lots of fun games, danced like crazy, and watched cartoons until late at night. But like all batteries, our little energizer boys ran out of steam eventually, so much energy in such small kids just can't last forever, and after a couple of hours, they all crashed happily asleep... shhhh!!! Sweet dreams.

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Top Left: Mateo being silly on the stairs.
Top Right: Alejo brushing up his teeth - first thing's first!

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Top Left: Some play time.
Top Right: Listening to a story.

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Top Left: Dancing...
Top Right: ... and playing "sandwich".

You will always be in our hearts!

How difficult it is to hear a child, whose diapers you have changed, who you have bathed and fed with so much love since they were still tiny, who you have seen take his first steps, who you have witnessed the important moments in his life with tears of joy, one day say to you, "Bye-bye auntie, I have a mom, dad, and two dogs."

After three years of prayers, never losing hope and faith that it would happen, our little Cedro has been adopted! Yes, is it hard to see him go, yet we are overjoyed knowing that a good family is now his very own, bringing him love, teaching values, and protecting him. God bless you always, Cedro!

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Arriba: Cedro, growing up during his time with us...

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Top Left: The first day Cedro met his family.
Top Right: Adiós Cedro, you have a beautiful family now.

Year-End School Dance

At end of every school year, "Catorce de Septiembre" School presents typical dances and customs from around the country, and hosting an exhibition of artwork realized by the students. It is a very entertaining and culturally rich morning, where the girls of CDP who attend this school are all smiles, demonstrating the hard work they have put into their presentations with their fellow classmates.

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Top Left: Bryssa before presenting her dance.
Top Right: Bryssa presenting a typical dance from the department of Tarija.

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Top Left: Evelyn with a group of friends from her class.
Top Right: Evelyn dancing a traditional dance called the Chacarera.

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Top Left: The smallest girls danced a chicken dance, though not the one common in the US and Canada.
Top Right: Abigail, before her African-Bolivian dance.

¡Happy Birthday!

A child's first birthday is a very special celebration. It represents the completion of what is one of the most important year's of development, where they have picked up skills, learned to use their body, started learning how to express themselves emotionally and affectionately. Already her personality begins to shine through, and doting parents, siblings, and relatives and glimpse a snapshot of what this little bundle of joy may grow up to be in the future.

Catalina joined us when she was just 6 months old, and in this short amount of time has learned to sit and play games with the other girls, and is no longer so dependent, having moved from the tías arms to her walker, exploring the world around her, and no longer cries when she wants something, but has begun to use her hand and even has picked up a few words.

Happy Birthday Princess!

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Top Left: Catalina together with her mom.
Top Right: About to blow out her first candle!

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Top Left: Searching for candies from the piñata!
Top Right: Catalina together with her mom and sisters.

The quinceañera is a celebration common en Latino culture, when a girl upon turning 15-years-old, leaves behind childhood and becomes a young woman; it is a rite of passage, deeply rooted tradition of the Latin family. This event is very significant for both the teenager and the family, it was said that these festivals in the past meant the beginning of matchmaking for the young woman. Abigail, however, thinks the idea of leaving behind childhood is totally insane, I mean, why, if being a girl is the best thing that can happen to us—playing unto exhaustion, joking around all summer long, laughing so hard your stomach hurts—who wants to be an adult?!?

So, Abigail decided to skip the party and the dress and the dancing, and travel with a friend from the home, Johana, to the city of Santa Cruz de la Sierra. She just wanted to have fun and be happy, and that she did!

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Top Left: Abigail along with Johana at the zoo.
Top Right: Abigail holding a sloth... Don't come near me!

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Top Left: Abigail, Johana, and Tía Celia, at the Guembe Ecopark.
Top Right: Swimming in one of Guembe's several swimming pools.

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Top Left: Visiting Camila, who is one of Abigail's good friends, who left CDP a couple years back.
Top Right: Mmmm... Great food, great smile!

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Although we always have the full support of God with us, many times we feel powerless to continue pressing on in our lives, and we are overcome by the smallest of obstacles, blowing them up in our minds to something much bigger than they really are.

Cochabamba was honored to welcome a man who, despite the difficulties and obstacles life has sent his way, does not feel limited in what he can accomplish, a man of courage and perseverance that showed us that we are the ones who put limits in our lives, and that our fear is the main obstacle we have. Nick Vujicic is a man who has traveled the world showing men and women that with love and willpower, they can become who they want to be. Despite not having arms and legs, he has never given up, and became what he always wanted to be, happy with life. He challenges us to all look within ourselves, and trust in God, for we truly can become who we want to become.

Thank you Nick, for helping us remember that God is in our hearts and never abandons us. Our older girls had an incredible time of reflecting and being motivated, and came back feeling much more confident in their ability to achieve successful, fulfilling lives.

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Top Left: Nick, preparing for his presentation.
Top Right: Saying goodbye to the youth.

One Tough Gal!

The loss of an important member of our family is very painful experience, and leaves a great void in our lives that is difficult to fill, the pain can consume us, and our strength diminished. Zandra is the oldest sister of six siblings, all orphaned as realtively young ages. With her older brother living far away, she took on the responsibility of caring for her younger brothers and sisters, and became the strength of the family, taking care of everyone with love and determination despite her age, making sure there was food on their plates, and that they had a safe, warm place to stay. These trying times ended when Niños con Valor began to help them.

Today, Zandra is studying Law at a private university, finishing up her 6th semester of studies in December. She has already gained valuable experience working with provincial prosecutors, and is as excited as ever to continue in her career path. With what she has learned, she has been able to start a legal process to guarantee that an inheritance herfather left them benefits her and her siblings, as several relatives want the land included in the inheritance for themselves. Zandra has gained so much confidence in herself, and is working hard to make sure her siblings achieve their dreams as well. It fills us with pride to see how quickly this family has moved out of their desperate situation, and how they are just such a unified family despite their past struggles.

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Top Left: Zandra with her youngest siblings, Raquel and Efrain.
Top Right: And with Trella, who is now a big help in the home as well.

It is important that we continue to nurture and care for the seedlings we have sown as they grow, ensuring continued growth, that eventually they may produce fruit. We have the same responsibility to our children and the families we support, to guide them on a path of honesty, hard work and unity. And... What fruits will they produce? ... The joy and satisfaction from their efforts, happy and cheerful hearts knowing that they can reach their dreams, these are the greatest fruits of all.

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

pencil  Check out our Blog!

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.

pray  Pray!

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.

ONE

Our program working with families and communities to strengthen community care of children and to prevent family disintegration.

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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