Luis-Alberto in Colombia
Say the word Colombia to most people and they think of a continuous battle between a corrupt government, drug barons and guerrilla activists. The whole situation summed up when scoring an own goal during the 1994 World Cup proved fatal for Colombian footballer Andres Escobar. A member of a drugs cartel shot him dead in a car park for his mistake. If you think this sounds a bit over the top, check out the history of Colombia as a timeline and you'll see that this is not exactly what you'd call an isolated incident.

Of course, the reality here is that there is a population who would really just like to get on with their lives. The
BBC gives us some simple facts and figures about the country as well as links through to local newspapers for any Spanish readers out there. However, the telling stuff can be found at UNICEF where, for example, you'll see that 2% of children do not survive beyond 5 years old.

Luis-Alberto was born in 2006 and his family lives in a small house made of wood with a corrugated metal roof. He attends nursery school which is under 30 minutes away. The family's water is gathered by a water catchment in their backyard. This tells you that
Plan International is able to help the local community in a number of ways to improve sanitation, water supply, etc. Given the need here, we are more than happy to help.

Plan International has developed a large, global network of support for children. From this, they were able to introduce us to Luis-felipe. The organisation was started in 1937 by a couple of journalists shocked by the orphaned children in the aftermath of the Spanish Civil War. Today, the organisation operates at a number of levels in 45 developing countries. They get involved by working with governments, development partners and communities to help to improve specific facilities in deprived areas. They key point is that everyone can buy into the local projects to safeguard the future of the community and, in particular, the children. When a local family is involved in these projects, people like us get the opportunity to sponsor their children for the duration of the community project. These projects are based around five key elements that support the development of the children and, hence, the future of the community. These are health, education, livelihood, habitat and building relationships. Nobody can argue with that and Plan International does a wonderful job across many parts of the world. Pretty obviously, Mr Kite thinks that it would be great if you got involved, too. Read about sponsoring a child here.

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