By Joseph Kenny | firstname.lastname@example.org | twitter: @josephkenny2
COCHABAMBA, Bolivia -
They're the children of children who've been living on the streets. Babies born to drug-addicted mothers. Youngsters who've seen horrible things or been abused.
Here, they find love.
It's a 2-year-old lovingly embraced by a staff member. A baby fed by a woman religious. A 3-year-old encouraged and given structure from his classroom teacher. A child with prosthetic leg helped by a physical therapist.
Joseph Kenny | email@example.com | twitter: @josephkenny2
The children are unwanted, abandoned by their parents, sometimes victims of horrific abuse. While they may be considered castaways -- forsaken and discarded by their parents -- they have not been forgotten.
Sarah Hinds | firstname.lastname@example.org | twitter: @sarahhinds76
"Hola, mi nombre es Nicolas," 11-year-old Nicolas Cardenas of St. Joseph Parish in Manchester wrote as he crafted a greeting card at the Pan y Amor Archdiocesan Family Day. Nicolas' card is one of many that will be sent to children in various countries who are sponsored by the Pan y Amor mission-aid program.
Pan y Amor -- which means "bread and love" in Spanish -- is a program of the Archdiocesan Mission Office. Through sponsorship donations, Pan y Amor funds programs for children in need in Bolivia, Colombia, Kenya and Uganda.
A Pan y Amor Archdiocesan Family Day will be held Sunday, Sept. 14, at the Cardinal Rigali Center, 20 Archbishop May Drive in Shrewsbury. The cultures of Bolivia, Colombia, Kenya and Uganda will be highlighted in a mission-carnival setting. Activities will begin at 2:30 p.m. and will conclude with the showing of a new 30-minute Pan y Amor video on the archdiocesan mission program which helps needy children. All who attend will be treated to Ted Drewes frozen custard, and attendance prizes will be awarded.
Ephrain was abandoned by his mother at the age of 3. The healthy, handsome boy had been discarded in a Bolivian marketplace by his mother.
She had other children, but she simply did not want him. So she sat him down, turned her back and walked away. For three days, little Ephrain wandered around the marketplace, begged for food and slept wherever he could. It was soon evident he needed help. That's when Sister Mary Catherine Feldewert, a Precious Blood Sister from St. Louis, stepped in and brought him to live at Casa Nazareth.
Nearly 20 years ago, Chuck Neff of Salt River Productions traveled to Bolivia to produce a video, "Street Kids of Cochabamba," to promote the Pan y Amor program, which had just been established.
He returned this February with the intention of producing another documentary, possibly to air on a broadcast outlet. He also is making a series of short videos, one of which was just released, highlighting Pan y Amor and his visit.