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April 17th 2012 / Colombia, Fair Instant, Save the Children

One boy’s story: how Save the Children is helping Oscar and his community

You probably know that Save the Children is a charity that does great work, helping less fortunate children in impoverished or war-torn areas around the world. You should also know that for every jar of Fair Instant sold, 10p is donated to Save the Children.

But where does this money go and how does it really help the average child on the street? Oscar is just one of many similar children whose lives have been changed by your donation. This is his story:

Oscar lives in Policarpa in the Narino region of Colombia. This place is very difficult to reach because the road is always destroyed by landslides or explosions caused by the local armed groups, as Oscar explains.

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“My town is beautiful, with mountains, valleys and a river. It makes me sad that even though my town is so pretty, we always have to worry about the armed groups. In the streets nearby live members of the illegal armed groups who constantly attack the people.

I remember that a few months ago we had to run away from home because we live close to the police station and there was a gun battle. Thankfully I haven’t lost anyone from my family, but many neighbours and friends have. It’s made me scared of explosions and confrontations. Other people who have left looking for safety have been kidnapped.”

The saddest part of all this is that it is children, like Oscar, who have to live with the consequences of the situation. They are constantly being asked to join the members of the armed groups, to work as harvesters of coca, as informers or to buy and sell drugs. The cultivators say they prefer to employ children because they have more energy to work but can be paid less.

 

How Save the Children is helping

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Oscar is in ninth grade at the local Policarpa school. He really likes going to school and learning new things because he believes that education is the only way of moving forward and helping his family.

“Now I generally feel good at school. Before, the teachers were really boring because they only wrote on the blackboard and made us copy down without even asking us if we understood. Since this Save the Children project started, we’ve seen a lot of changes in our school. The teachers use new activities to teach us in class and we have new sports and school equipment.

With the arrival of Save the Children we are also attending activities in which we fight for our community and they’ve taught us that education isn’t an obligation but a right that we have to enjoy. They’ve helped us learn about our rights, child protection and that it is important to express ourselves and make the community know our opinions. I’m happy because now there are good relations between my peers and we know a lot about values and rights, which helps us to respect each other.”

You can find out more about Save the Children’s work all across the world at www.savethechildren.org.uk. But join us over a cup of Fair Instant and be proud of the way we are all able to help in our own small ways.

Save the Children is a registered charity England and Wales (213890) Scotland (SC039570)

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