Father Frank's Kids supports a network of Nuestros Pequeños Hermanos (NPH, Spanish for "Our Little Brothers and Sisters") homes located in the countries of Honduras, Nicaragua, El Salvador, and Guatemala. The boys and girls in these homes are orphaned, abandoned or disadvantaged. Many have suffered physical and/or verbal abuse, have lived in horrible conditions, and have been shuffled from one family member to another. Like all children, they are seeking love and security, a place they can call home. They are referred to NPH by family members, neighbors or government agencies. When they come to NPH, they range in age from newborn to teenager and are told they will never be asked to leave. NPH is quite unique in the approach they take to raising children. The children do not come and go or receive care from a distance. Instead, they receive direct physical, emotional and spiritual support on a long-term basis.
According to UNICEF, there were an estimated 370,000 orphaned children in Guatemala alone in the year 2005.
Children at NPH homes are not available for adoption. Instead, they are welcomed, along with their brothers and sisters, into the larger NPH family. This gives the children a sense of belonging and security in knowing they have a place to live and will always have a home and family.
Each home has enough land to grow crops and fruit trees, ponds to harvest fish, and areas to maintain livestock (mainly cattle, pigs, and chickens). This land provides for approximately 40% of their food needs. Every child has a daily chore, such as dusting, mopping, cooking or farming. This teaches them responsibility and they find pride in helping their family in this way.
Children are raised lovingly to share their possessions with others, be responsible for their actions and work hard in school. All children are given a quality education and have the opportunity to pursue a trade or a university degree.
There is no fixed age at which the children leave NPH. They stay until they feel prepared to live independently. Some children may leave NPH and start working after finishing secondary school. Others may stay and attend high school, take vocational training or study at a university. Additionally, when a child has completed his or her education, they are expected to give back to their family by completing a year of service working with younger children, serving in the kitchen, offices, school or farm. During their Family Service, they continue to be supported by NPH.
When children leave NPH, they are prepared to be productive, self-sufficient and caring members of their own communities. Thousands of pequeños are now self-sufficient adults with families of their own. Many are educators, doctors, accountants, carpenters, farmers, mechanics, artists, administrators and social workers. Some work for NPH in one of the nine countries where they have homes. Having learned the NPH philosophies of sharing and giving back, others support Friends of the Orphans and NPH by sponsoring children, organizing fundraisers, or attending special events and serving as ambassadors for the organization.