A story to tell 15.10.2014

Yeider González

He was 3 years old and was found by our social workers in a very poor neighborhood of Bogotá, Colombia, 7 months ago. What our social worker first saw wasn´t this scared face you´re seeing, neither was it these big eyes full of tears…. It was his little hand and his three fingers, leaning in the round whole of his house door…

It was the beginning of a story…. A story to tell…. In a regular work day of visits to poor communities, our team, composed of social workers and psychologists, was visiting this very dangerous and poor neighborhood a few blocks away from our new facility in Bogotá. When they were walking around, suddenly the strong crying of a child called their attention. They found themselves in front of this house, with the door locked, and heard that the terrified crying came from a little boy inside. They yelled to see if there was somebody else. Seeing that nobody answered, they started to approach the neighbors, and suddenly a 16 years old girl who seemed to be pregnant appeared out of nowhere and started to run to this house. She explained to our team that the mother of the boy put her in charge of the boy and his baby brother every day, but she was only able to look after them for a little while as she was taking care of her sick mother.

She unlocked the door and invited them to come in. Our team was totally astonished with what they saw. Two little boys: Yeider, who as the crying had showed, was totally terrified, and his brother, Pedro, was only a 16th month baby! Around them it was complete chaos. In the middle of this chaos, while they were talking with the girl, Yeider started to play with his toys: several colorful bottle caps he had carefully organized on the wooden table.

Bambi instantly went into action. We approached the mother, Teresa, a woman from southern Colombia who was displaced due to the civil war. She was single because her husband was killed by guerilla soldiers 3 months ago, and she  had nothing. She earned some money recycling paper in the streets. We took the two boys to our home in Bambi and we started a recuperation program that addressed their malnutrition, developmental delay, and respiratory illness caused by the precarious environment in which they were living. But most of all, we started a recuperation program to recover them from their lack of love. Teresa entered the PROMEFA program, which trains parents to create a new economic and familial life plan, and empowers them to build their self-esteem. Now Teresa has her own business in handicrafts and she is living in a better home. She is a new person; she has recovered her hope for a better life.

Her children are no longer suffering
We have thousands of children who are still suffering. In Colombia there are 2.875.634 children from 0 to 5 years of age who live under the poverty line. We need to protect them from disease, malnourishment, misery, and most of all: we need to nourish their injured hearts. Thank you very much!