Our Voices: Elvis from NPH Peru
Elvis was the first child at NPH Peru. In the letter series, "Our Voices," he recounts some valuable memories of the beginning of NPH in Peru and how the pandemic changed his plans in the final part of his studies.
November 16, 2020 - Peru
I am Elvis Jhoel Huaripata Arce, the first child to arrive at NPH Peru. I am 22-years-old and I am currently in my fourth year of studying law at university. When I arrived to NPH in 2004, the home was in Cajamarca, a city in the north of Peru. After a while, we moved to the south of Lima, in the district of San Vicente de Cañete.
When I was a child, my mother couldn’t take care of me. I didn’t receive the necessary attention and care due to the low economic resources of my family. My uncle and aunty decided to look for a place where I could receive the necessary care. They found out that NPH take in vulnerable children to care for them, and provide a safe home with food, healthcare and a quality education.
Since the first day, I was very happy because everything was different and I could feel great affection from those who took care of me. I met my caregivers and I made new friends; I got along with them from the beginning. Finally, I could feel I was part of a family.
Over time, my world had changed a lot. I realized that I was blessed to have come to NPH, where I had everything I needed: education, food, clothing and, most importantly, values such as responsibility, sharing, work and love. Little by little, I knew how big NPH was thanks to Father William Wasson. I had the blessing to meet him when he came to Peru to visit us in Cajamarca. I remember his big smile and his heartfelt hug when we received him at home. You could feel you were in front of someone really special with a great and kind heart.
In 2006, I heard the sad news that he had died. That made me feel very sad, because I knew he would never visit us again. Our caregivers tried to make us feel better by saying he will always be with us in our minds and hearts because we are all his sons and daughters. I’ve read one of his books, where he wrote about the love of children. His words let me feel even closer to him.
My plans changed a lot because of the pandemic. Before it, I was living in Lima because I was studying there. This year I was going to start my professional internship, but it was suspended, so I decided to return to Cañete. I was planning to live with my friends from NPH who are also at university, but I got a call from Casa Santa Rosa. They asked me if I wanted to go home and stay a few months helping with some chores. I gladly accepted.
During these difficult days, I have thought about my mother, uncle and aunty, grandparents and brothers. I call them on the weekends to know how are they doing and to ask them to take care of themselves because they have returned to work. I don’t want them to take many risks and get infected. I pray a lot for them.
Here at Casa Santa Rosa, I am supporting the home with different activities. I help as a janitor controlling the entry and exit of workers. I enforce biosecurity measures such as disinfecting their hands with alcohol and verifying the correct use of masks and face shield. I also help cut the grass in our gardens and clean the pig farm.
On the weekends, I play football with my friends and other guys from the house. We also play chess and monopoly. I like to listen music of different genres to relax and clear my mind when I feel stressed.
From Monday to Friday, I spend my time studying hard because having the opportunity to attend university is very important to me. Currently, I’m having online classes. I do my best to learn as much as possible, get good grades and do my homework. I report my grades to my tutors, so I want them to be proud of me.
One of my goals is to finish my degree and become an excellent professional. Then, I would like to have a family and travel to see the other NPH homes. Of course, I also want to support NPH just as they have supported me from when I was a little boy until now that I am close to being a young professional.
I say goodbye wishing you the best,
Interested in supporting youths like Elvis to finish their studies? Visit your local NPH office to see how you can help.
Godchild and university student at NPH Peru