One of the things
I volunteer my time with here in Mérida is Hogar Nueva Vida
Hogar Nueva Vida (HNV) is a group home for girls located in the south of Mérida. It was founded in 1996 and receives principal support from the Diocese of Erie, Pennsylvania.
HNV provides a safe environment for young girls from difficult family situations. The girls live at HNV from Sunday evening to Friday evening. They return home for the weekend. HNV provides housing, food, education, love and care as each girl seeks to develop her talents.
You can follow these links to find out more about The Diocese of Erie Pennsylvania’s Misión de Amistad; including Hogar Nueva Vida, and their other programs here in the Yucatan.
A small group of Friends of Hogar Nueva Vida recently met with Patricia (Tricia) Pipkin the new director of Misión de Amistad.
HNV began the year with twelve girls ages seven through twelve, in first through sixth grade; They can accept up to eighteen girls. There are eight women on the staff, including the cook, the two women who spend the nights with the girls, the three women who take care of the girls and attend to their school needs, and two women who come for the sole purpose of tutoring. The high staff-to-child ratio helps ensure that each girl receives lots of personal attention.
At our meeting we discussed a variety of ideas for new programs and volunteer opportunities for members of the International Women's Club (IWC), the Mérida Men’s Club (MMC), and other interested individuals. The IWC, and the MMC have been helping out at HNV for quite a few years.
There are always so many needs when trying to help kids.
One wish for HNV and the girls education is the HNV Computer Lab.
One of our Friends of HNV, Steve has cobbled together 3 working computers. These computers have limited capability.
There is no internet access therefore these machines only allow for the girls to learn very basic computer skills. The lack of internet also does not allow for the girls to do some of the research required for their homework needs.
Our ideal Lab would have internet access, at least 3 working desktop or laptop
pc’s, and several Tablet computers, as well as some self help computer skills
books, in Spanish.
So here are several opportunities for you to help these girls –
Do you have a computer or laptop you could donate?
What about an old iPad or Tablet, maybe you’ve recently upgraded yours?????
Could you pay for several months of internet access?
How about an external cd/dvd player for utilizing instructional dvd’s?
They now have a Wish List of things they would like on Amazon - So if you
are traveling between the US or Canada and Merida, check this out;
They can also use the following -
Sturdy backpacks (used ones would be fine),
Flat sheets (again used ones, and any size would be fine),
Sturdy, kid-sized rain ponchos or jackets. (In US sizing, they would need four size eights, five size tens, and three size twelves)
If you’d like to work with the girls directly they could really use help in learning
English, and No, you don’t need to know Spanish.
There is a need for help with girls in varying grade groups –
Grades 1 and 2, has 4 girls
Grades 3 and 4, has 6 girls
Grade 6, has 2 girls
You can pick the age group you want to work with, and the day of the week
Monday through Thursday, but the available time frame is from 2-3 in the
afternoon. Tricia, the Director has a curriculum for you to use so that there is no need to have that, and it provides continuity and a progression.
Maybe academics aren't your thing – On Thursdays, from 4-5 you could come and do sports or games with the girls.
And for a short term commitment opportunity they need help painting –
If you can help with any of these things please contact Patricia (Tricia) Pipkin - pjpipkin at mac dot com
And of course, monetary donations to offset utilities, repairs, staff, food, clothing, toiletries, cleaning supplies, well you know what it takes to run a household!
Would always be appreciated!