Every other month, we’ll be highlighting a child’s story here on our blog. Some of our children have been abused and broken beyond what we might imagine. Others come to us from families who simply couldn’t afford to care for them. We’ll highlight different children in an effort to connect you with the story of our orphans – from their childhood, to their landing at one of our orphanages, to the successes we’ve seen as they grow up.
This month, I’d love to introduce you to Bryan. He’s going to be six years old in a couple months!
Bryan grew up in Chinandega as the youngest of four boys. North of Managua, North of Leon, and just barely South of Honduras, Chinandega is hot and humid. It’s a tropical town, just 12 miles away from the Pacific Coast.
He lived in the small town for a few years, but eventually moved to Managua, where his mother worked in a variety of domestic jobs. Before he even started school, Bryan was given to his Aunt, along with his three brothers, because his mother simply didn’t make enough money to care for him.
He lived through mistreatment and abuse from his Aunt until the four boys were able to get word to their mother of their lifestyle. She quickly took them away from the Aunt, but still couldn’t care for any of the four.
By the time Bryan was five years old, he had been moved from home to home, town to town, and was completely unschooled. His mother didn’t have the time to read to him. His father had died of kidney failure. I’m not sure what the living conditions were like during those years, but we can imagine, can’t we? Bryan probably went to bed hungry at least three or four nights a week. He probably didn’t talk much, and let his older brothers fend for him. I’d imagine even that the brothers were close to one another – that they looked out for each other.
This past January, Bryan’s mom brought him to Puente De Amistad – the orphanage we usually nickname El Canyon. She stays in contact with him, but he is now assured an education, and care that he never would have received otherwise.
He loves to put together puzzles and watch TV in the little open-air lounge in the main building. He’s quiet and extremely serious, but loves to help the staff when he can. In fact, he’s already adjusted well to life in the orphanage, and fits in great with the children. He’s a joyful little boy, and is starting in school this coming year! He still gets to visit with his mother, and both of them are excited for the new opportunities for nourishment and education and care now that he’s in the orphanage!
If you’d like to sponsor Bryan or a child like him – please head over to our sponsorship site. We’d love to get you started!
I wanted to highlight Razoo because of how our University friends at JMU, Virginia Tech, William and Mary, and UVa are using the site! ORPHANetwork has partnered with these Universities and their campus NPO ‘The Nicaraguan Orphan Fund’ (NOF) for quite a few years now to help our children in Nicaragua. Each year, students come down over spring break in what often turns out to be our most populated trip of the year – this past spring break we took down over 160 students! When the trip ends, they head back to their own schools and figure out what an ongoing relationship with the children looks like for a college student…
For JMU and Virginia Tech, it looks like beans and rice exclusively for a week! No joke. The students call it a ‘Compassion Diet‘, and take an entire week (15 meals) to eat only rice and beans, like our at-risk children in Nicaragua.
For UVa, they’ve decided to go barefoot for an entire week! ‘Barefoot for Nica’ at UVa is all about bringing awareness to our children in La Chureca, the Managua city dump. The students will go to class barefoot, eat barefoot, and indeed – run a Barefoot 5k.
ORPHANetwork is overjoyed to see college students catch the mission of rescuing and caring for our children in Nicaragua. When you check out our Razoo page, look below at the 24 different fundraising pages from students across Virginia – they’re doing some AWESOME things for our kids!