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Businessman Rescues Thousands of Children in Columbia

In Unbelievable?, Justin Brierley shares that in the 1970s, Jaime Jaramillo, a wealthy businessman, was walking along the streets of Bogotá in Colombia when he saw a young girl climbing down through a manhole into the sewers below. Jaramillo went home, put on a wetsuit and followed the girl into the manhole. To his amazement he discovered about 90 children living underground in the filthy, rat-infested sewers. They were the youngest victims of Colombia's so-called 'dirty war in which government forces and paramilitary groups fought running battles across the country. In the social chaos, street kids found themselves at the bottom of the pile, often addicted to sniffing glue, involved in prostitution, and suffering from disease and malnutrition. The reason for their subterranean living space was that paramilitary gangs were killing the children who lived on the streets above. One gang member said, "Killing these kids is like killing lice. We call them 'the disposables.'"

Appalled at the situation in his home country, Jaramillo (or 'Papa Jaime as he is affectionately known) went on to rescue as many kids from the sewers as possible, using his money to build a home where they receive an education and live in a loving Christian community. To date he has changed the lives of thousands of children.

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