- Team Impact
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.
Adrian’s father, Armando, is a bricklayer. The homemade bricks Armando works with carry the strong stench of smoke and manure. The smell lingers in his clothes and hair long after he is done working. Most of the time, Armando’s meager income of about $200 per month provides just enough for the family’s survival. But it doesn’t allow for much else.
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.
Despite all these issues, Adrian is still just a kid. He loves to play soccer and dance. His favorite subject in school is math and he likes creating art.
There are millions of kids like Adrian — kids growing up in impoverished families that have to make choices no one should have to make.