Throughout the world, we champion children. We work with teachers, principals, mayors and religious leaders to help children thrive in their schools, homes and communities.
But did you know that we run two full-time residential centers in Kenya and Honduras for boys and girls who are abandoned or whose parents are unable to care for them?
When it is possible, we seek to reunite children with their families. But many of the kids continue to be under our supervision until they turn 18. What a great responsibility it is to care for them; for they are ours!
For this reason, our President and CEO, Kevin Hagan feels it is important for him to celebrate Christmas at these two centers every December. He wants the kids to know the joy of Christmas like all kids should!
Recently, we told you about Kevin’s visit to Kenya, but today we want to share more about the Christmas celebrations at Casa del Nino in La Ceiba, Honduras.
At Casa del Nino, Feed the Children Honduras cares for 35 boys from age 7-17 every day of the year. Some of these boys have come to us through Honduran social services. Others have come through referrals in communities where we work. But together they have formed a family.
On Wednesday, December 17, the boys and staff, Regional Director for Latin American operations Francisco Torres and Kevin and his wife, Elizabeth Hagan gathered around tables in the courtyard of Casa del Nino for gift giving, music and a Christmas feast.
Each boy asked for just one present. They were elated to receive their single gift –simply new shoes to play soccer or a remote control car.
Before dinner, the boys shared prayers, songs and even a skit with the group. They expressed their appreciation to all the Feed the Children donors for giving them a safe place to call home over the last year.
Christmas dinner was extra special because it was prepared by some of the older boys themselves. These boys are interested in becoming chefs when they grow up, and we’ve enrolled them in culinary classes for the last five months.
So, with some assistance from their teachers, the boys prepared a traditional Honduran Christmas meal: tamales, chicken and pork, yellow rice, potatoes, tomato, pepper and cucumber salad and rolls.
After dinner, each boy and staff member received a glow stick necklace and bracelet! As you can see the boys posed proudly for pictures with them on.
Even though it soon started raining, joy at Casa del Nino was uncontainable. They played with their new toys. They laughed and laughed with the staff members. And they gave Kevin Hagan lots of hugs. Even one boy said, “Thanks for remembering us at Christmas. It feels good that we aren’t forgotten.”
A DJ later played some traditional Honduran Christmas songs and the group danced and danced and danced. Some of the boys had their faces painted. The staff joined in with the children as well. One staff member later remarked, “This is what Christmas is really all about!”