Brotherhood has many definitions, but two of my favorite are the following, “A community based on identity of origin or life,” or “a band of brothers.” I often think about how all the boys at Hope House are somehow “related,” though it may not be by blood, but by their situations and how they’ve been brought together at Hope House.
Situation can be complicated when it comes to keeping siblings together, but we do our best to keep the families united. Currently at the Hope House we have six sets of brothers. We’ve found that almost all of them have a specific family dynamic. Normally, the oldest is always the caregiver and protector. The boys have been either living on their own or at least fending for themselves day to day. It’s the responsibility of the oldest to take care of his siblings, whether it be finding food or shelter or even a job. We’ve seen this in boys as young as seven years old. It isn’t uncommon for the boys to have never attended school, nor ever experienced any structure.
Recently, a set of four brothers became part of the Hope House family. Their names are Ricardo Noé (10), Adrian (8), Juan Carlos (6) and Angel (4). They represent this typical “brotherhood” we see every day. Growing up in a small village nearby, they learned to survive without much help from their parents, doing whatever it took to get through each day. Now, they have adjusted to structured life at Hope House, a life much more pleasant than the one they used to live.
Ricardo continues to look out for his little brothers, making sure they always have someone to play with as well as helping them make friends at school. All four boys are now in school for the first time. They’re learning to read and write, even Angel has already learned how to write his name.
When new to the Hope House, each boy’s “brotherhood” expands, they’ve gained a family they may not have ever expected. Each boy comes from different situations and backgrounds, but the one thing they have in common, is that they’ve been given a new life and family at Hope House.
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