On Christmas day in 2008 a historical article appeared in a Salvadorean online newspaper featuring the story of a family living in absolute poverty. The original story had unfolded in El Salvador in 1985; during El Salvador’s extremely brutal civil war.
The family lived in extreme poverty with the parents unable to provide for their children’s most basic needs. They had a little boy who at just five years of age had never knows the security of a safe place to live or regular meals on the table.
On Christmas Eve of that year his parents watched helplessly as their five year old son become gravely ill. With no money and without any means to afford the simple bus fare to the hospital they watched on helplessly as their precious son passed away on Christmas Day.
That day, as the country, for a few fleeting moments, took its focus off the war, the reality for these poverty stricken parents was an all-consuming and overwhelming grief. Adding to their distress was the shame they carried at being too poor to afford flowers for his burial.
The reporter who covered this story at the time was overwhelmed by the injustice that these people had to endure and so he took it upon himself to purchase the flowers for the young child’s burial as a small act of compassion in the midst of so crippling injustice.
Although this story had being brought back from history twenty seven years later, we realized that for the poorest of the poor in this small nation things hadn’t changed that much. The reality is that this scenario still plays out in El Salvador all too often.
It was this story amongst so many other stories of poverty and despair that inspired us too- to respond with compassion.
So a few short months later we set out to do something to help El Salvador’s children. Salvador’s HOPE was born in 2009 with a dream and vision to see people set free from the injustices of poverty.