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FAMILIES SERVED IN CASA MAREN 

The social program “Casa Maren” is located in the heart of the urban settlement “Brisas del Jardín” in the northeast area of Medellin. This neighborhood has existed since 1984 as an illegal settlement. The children in the area are sons and daughters of internally displaced people (IDP) who fled from the violence in the countryside. Families live in very precarious conditions and lack basic services like water and sewage. They commonly do not have formal jobs and struggle to make a living for their families. Adults often times work helping in construction sites, cleaning and cooking in private houses, selling candies in the streets and even begging. 
There is a major need for social services in the community. The social, educational, and health services offered by the government are clearly insufficient and from other areas in the city is drastically limited by the geographical isolation of the neighborhood. 
 

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FAMILIES SERVED IN CASA KARAH 


The social program Casa Karah is located in a neighborhood(called Guayaquil /Barrio Triste) that is locally known as a focus region of prostitution, vagabondism, drug dealing, and delinquency. Most of the children assisted in Casa Karah live with their families under very precarious conditions and exposed to violence, lack of opportunities, and sometimes sexual abuse. 
Many families pay a daily rent for a small room with no windows and old mattresses on the floor. Because their source of income is uncertain, they cannot afford to pay monthly rent. Families share toilets, showers, kitchen, sinks, etc. 
Parents of the children served in Casa Karah do not have formal jobs and struggle to make a living. Some of them support their families through informal activities like recycling, selling candies in the streets, and washing the clothes. Others turn to less dignifying and sometimes illegal means such as mendicancy, prostitution, and various forms of delinquency (including stealing and drug dealing). 
Because the parents are out in the streets trying to make a living, children spent a major part of the day unsupervised. Families are dysfunctional because roles are switched/distorted; older children adopt the role of adults as they are somewhat forced by their situation to help supporting their families financially, and become authority figures for younger siblings. The hostile environment makes children prone to escapefrom their homes and live in the streets.

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