Caring & Sharing East Sussex "Live more simply that others may simply live"
|Street Educators, Medellin, Colombia|
Let The Children Live! is a charity of last resort. Working in Medellín, Colombia, with children from the streets and shanty-towns, it seeks to help those for whom all other help has failed and to offer them the chance of life; “life in all its fulness”.
This shows one of the Street Educators, Martin,on the left, with some street children
After fifty years of civil war and endless drugs wars, thousands of Colombian families have been displaced, forced to flee their homes at gunpoint, and cities like Medellín are hugely overcrowded. Families break up or become abusive and children end up living in the dangerous city streets, where they become sucked into lives of crime, violence, prostitution and drugs.
Other children live in the hundreds of shanty-towns that surround the city. Most are controlled by violent gangs ( bandas ) and many children either fall foul of them and are murdered or are recruited and turned into young assassins. Others accidentally wander across into the next shanty-town, where they are killed by its banda, who will allow no stranger to cross the imaginary line that separates one shanty-town from the next.
The mission of Let The Children Live! is to help these children who are the flotsam and jetsam of the city. It has two houses; Casa Walsingham-a day Centre, and Casa Bannatyne – a small residential home. Five hundred children are being helped through a variety of programmes and nearly all of them go to school.
Key to this work are our street-educators, who work in the streets and make the initial contact with the children. It frequently involves them in difficult and dangerous situations but their commitment, their love and their care for the children is their motivation. Donations from Caring and Sharing contribute to the salaries of these street-educators.