According to UNICEF, an estimated 170,000,000 Latin Americans are in absolute poverty. In Peru, 14 of the population is in extreme poverty or destitution, equivalent to 3 and a half million inhabitants, of which 2 million are children and adolescents. Peru is a young country, the 30 are children and the 14 are adolescents (INEI – 1993). In Lima alone, approximately 1500 to 2000 children and adolescents live on the street alone, aged 6 to 17.
This phenomenon is a consequence of the family crisis we are going through, the increase of dysfunctional families, extreme poverty, violence and child abuse originating within the family nucleus, the migration to Lima that causes overcrowding of members of one or more families in precarious houses that do not have basic services and the crisis of values that our society lives. All this causes a child to escape from his house every day and seek refuge in the street.
These children sleep where they can (river river, public squares, abandoned houses) and form groups that move around various areas of the city. In most cases these children engage in illicit activities such as theft or deception. Dirty, ragged, very precarious, drug-intensive drugs such as basic cocaine paste or inhale vapors of solvents such as terokal, exposing themselves to dependence and subsequently severe brain damage.
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Without the help of transparent and serious organizations like CIMA these children would have no hope. CIMA was founded on the principle of giving hope to children and adolescents, without it that they would be left on the streets facing terrible consequences. CIMA is hope for these children and for Peru.