I am Adrian

Adrian is 9 and lives in Colombia

Meet Adrian. He’s 9 years old and lives in a one-bedroom concrete block house with his parents and two younger sisters in Colombia. With only three beds for the five of them, the small house is a tight fit.

Poverty in Colombia

Mature for his age, Adrian pitches in and helps the family by running important errands while his father works and his mother, Orlacelis, cares for Adrian’s two younger sisters. With no electricity in the home, Adrian — who loves to dance — will sometimes bust a move to the music coming from his neighbors’ homes. 

While Adrian's family counts themselves fortunate to have water piped directly into their home, this doesn’t protect them from contaminants. Poor communities often lack sufficient water-purification systems, so the water likely contains bacteria and parasites. They have to boil all their drinking water.

A monthly income of $200 isn't much, but in a country with high rates of unemployment, Adrian's family is lucky.

Country in conflict

More than five decades of internal conflict in Colombia gave rise to a serious humanitarian crisis that claimed thousands of lives, forced millions from their homes and plunged many families into poverty. Although a ceasefire deal was approved in November 2016, many Colombians are still struggling.

About 28% of Colombians live below the poverty line. Kids born into destitute situations typically don’t have the skills, resources or knowledge needed to break the cycle of poverty.

Other issues that have stacked the odds against kids like Adrian in Colombia? Inadequate health care impacts kids’ access to education — unwell children have a harder time paying attention in school, which leads to more kids dropping out before ever finishing high school. And, more than 500 street gangs operate in Colombia's biggest cities — including Barranquilla and Cartagena, where CI works — so playing outside isn't always safe for kids like Adrian.

Meet Colombian kids who need help

CI provides programs and safe places where children like Adrian can come to stay healthy, receive school assistance, boost confidence and get job skills to transform their lives.

Breaking the cycle of poverty isn’t easy. But it is possible, thanks to our caring supporters.

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