Angeles de Medellin, a charity run by an American living in the city, has so far raised enough money to deliver food to 430 families and toys for 750 children living in one of the city’s poorest neighborhoods.
U.S. citizen Mark Kaseman started his charity work in the Medellin mountains a few years ago, but the project has really begun to take off this year.
“So far we have raised enough money to buy food for 430 families and toys for 750 children,” Kaseman told Colombia Reports.
The American’s charity focuses on barrios high in the mountains in the poor north-east of the city, where hundreds of families displaced by violence have settled over the past few years. Technically, the barrios Pinar, Regalo de Dios, Alberge, La Cancha and Altos belong to the municipality of Bello, just north of Medellin.
Kaseman has already bought most the toys for the children and arranged two trucks to carry the food supplies to the mountainous areas where his charity operates.
One donor offered to ship 5-10 computers that can be used in the primary school. Kaseman and the donor are looking into the possibility of providing the school with broadband internet so that the children can access information online.
On Friday, Kaseman will go to the city’s local wholesale market to collect the rice, sugar, pasta, panela, vegetables and fruits he has ordered over the past few weeks, while donations from people in the U.S., Colombia and Europe have been coming in.
Despite his efforts, the American has not been able to get enough money together to supply food to all families in the neighborhoods. “There are hundreds more people in need,” he says.
Through a campaign in the local media, and with the help of the audience of English-language websites Colombia Reports and Poorbuthappy.com, Mark hopes to be able to get enough money to help the remaining families.
“Whatever money I get, but can’t spend on Friday morning, I will spend whenever I do get it and immediately bring more food up there,” the New Yorker vows.