Out of War
Mayerly is a 16 year old girl living in Soucha, Colombia. She has helped over 2 million children stand up for their rights. But her earlier life wasn't so great. Until Mayerly was seven, she lived on a farm 50 miles south of Bogota. A sinkhole swallowed up her home forcing her family to move to Soucha. She fractured her skull when she was eight and was not expected to live. When Mayerly awoke after being unconscious for days, she could barely talk or recognize anyone. To add to her missfortune, her father was unemployed for a long time. This resulted in a lack of food and possible loss of shelter for the family. Thankfully, Mayerly's past did not harm her future and the future of others.
Where Mayerly Is From
Mayerly lives in Soucha, a shantytown on the outskirts of Colombia. The land is like a desert with few bodies of water in this poor city. The homes are made of cardboard and any other materials that they can find. The roads are not paved but made of dirt. There is little fertile land to grow much needed food.
Mayerly lives in a very poor area. Her home, like all of the others in her neighborhood, are made of cardboard, mud, and any other scraps on the road. Mayerly's father was unemployed for a long period of time so her family could barely pay for rent and for food. Other people in Mayerly's community are so poor that their children have to drop out of school. The children that still go to school are attacked on their way to school by armed gangs that demand for their money. The schools are crowded and the average day is usually half of what it should be. When the students are not in school, they are locked inside their homes by their parents so they wont be killed. Mayerly's attempts to end violence has only made a dent in the still big problems in Soucha.
What Event Caused Mayerly To Fight For Change
Mayerly decided to fight for change in Colombia because of her friend Milton's death. Milton and Mayerly had been friends ever since she had moved to Soucha. Milton had just joined a gang and had started wearing black baggy clothes. A few days later, a fight broke out at Milton's home in which he was stabbed and killed. His funeral was held shortly after. Mayerly took his death worse than others. When Milton was about to be buried, Mayerly had to be dragged away by her sister Yeimi. Mayerly has since moved on and uses her experiance to help others in her same situation.
What Mayerly Has Done To Promote Change
Mayerly has traveled around the world teaching kids to stand up for their rights and to vote for the Children's Mandate. On October 26, 1996, Mayerly rode a bus with 50 other kids to Plaza Bolivar in Bogota. There, they voted for the Children's Mandate with other citizens of Colombia. Mayerly ran chanted on the bus,"No to war, yes to peace because we the children are going to achieve it!" Everyone their wore the color white, which is the color of peace. The booths has lines with over 100 people. This event caused the government to stop recruiting boys under the age of 18 for the war. Currently, Mayerly makes a difference in the world by visiting other countries and helping the kids their.
What Mayerly Is Hoping For in The Future
Mayerly is hoping to provide children's rights in Colombia and throughout the world. She believes that if we change things in Soucha, we can stop our problems from spilling over in other communities.She doesn't want the kids in Panama to suffer like kids in Colombia have. Mayerly will continue to fight for change as long as she is able