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From Tragedy to Triumph: NPH Is Changing Lives for Latin American Girls

During this month leading up to International Women’s Day, we Celebrate Her — Dora, the pequeñas who came before and after her, and the dedicated women who made her success story possible.

Dora with some of the 2020 El Salvador graduates
February 21, 2024

Violence, poverty and inequality are the day-to-day reality for many women in Latin America. Up to 40% of Latin American women have been the victims of violence.

One of those women is Dora.

Dora is a girl from El Salvador who spent most of her youth being shuttled among relatives and foster care. At a tender young age, Dora’s arm was broken for the grievous offense of asking for food.

Eventually, she came under the care of her aunt and cousin, where she lived in poverty and fear. Kept away from school, she was forced to do chores around the house.

Thankfully, a neighbor intervened and called authorities, who removed Dora from the home and placed her in foster care. She spent the next decade moving from one group home to another.

Finally, at the age of 15, Dora was welcomed into the NPH’s Casa Sagrada Familia home in El Salvador.

She arrived just in time for her Quinceañera, where she ate a special meal, danced, and celebrated with 21 other girls. Dora finally got to be Cinderella at the ball.

Living in the NPH home allowed Dora to heal, gain trust and self-esteem, and study so she could build a future for herself.

“NPH has given me a family and the necessary tools to get ahead in life and be able to have a dignified life.” Dora says about her experience in Casa Sagrada Familia.

Dora’s fairytale story was never to marry a prince. It was to safely and joyfully reach her full potential so she could be a strong woman and help others. Today, Dora is NPH’s El Salvador National Director where she tirelessly works to give vulnerable girls the same opportunity NPH gave her.

Dedicated NPH staff work 24/7/365 to provide a safe, supportive environment for girls and boys so they can develop into happy, healthy, productive young adults. NPH homes provide shelter, food, education, health care, and everything else needed so that children know they are loved and worthy.

Photo above: Dora with some of the 2020 El Salvador graduates
Photos below: Dora in 2009; working at NPH Honduras in 2019; and with a child in 2023

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