My dad abandoned me, my mum, and my brother when I was 3 years old. He came back a few years later. He had 2 children with another woman, and when I was 13, another child with another woman. This made me angry and sad. He neglected my family for other people, leaving me, my mum, and my brother all alone. It meant we had very little money, despite my mum’s efforts to help provide for us.

I think it was for this reason that I got involved with Los Barracos, the group that controlled the neighbourhood, and started to sell drugs for them. I wanted to help support my mum, it didn’t matter to me how I did this. To cope with my feelings about my dad, I began to use the drugs that I was selling. Soon my school found out and told my parents. My dad came home when he heard, and told me that he was ashamed to have me as a son. He would come home drunk and beat me because of what I had done.

This was when I met the Foundation. They had an office in my school, and got me on a better path. They taught me how to use a laptop, and slowly I got myself out of the drugs world. When I was 17 years old they offered me a job working with them. I want to become the father of our house. I want to be able to provide for my mum, because if it wasn’t for her determination to get me in school, I would be nowhere. I want to grow up and feel proud of myself.

Fundación marINa orth

Fundación Marina Orth is an educative program helping underprivileged children in rough neighbourhoods of Medellín and its surroundings. The foundation has dedicated itself to creating an education model that can be replicated so that primary and secondary students in Colombia and elsewhere, no matter their race, gender or economic background, can compete globally and make a positive contribution to the world.


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