After news of an 11-year-old boy in Colombia taking care of his three younger siblings all by himself was made known in 2016, he was hailed a hero.
The boy, named Juan Pablo, and his younger brothers, never knew who their father was. They were raised single-handedly by their mother until the day she disappeared. Juan waited and waited for his mother to return home, but she never did. He was left to come to terms with the reality that his mother might have abandoned them, or perhaps something drastic may have befallen her.
Since then, Juan was forced to shoulder the responsibility of bringing up his younger brothers. Imagine how sad and frightened Juan was to take on the role of a “parent” at such a young age. Like a dutiful “parent,” Juan would send his brothers to school each day before making his way to school.
After school, he would beg on the bustling streets of Bogotá, Colombia’s sprawling capital. He made sure he had enough money to buy his brothers food.
Sadly, there were days when he couldn’t get enough money. And the only thing he could do was scavenge for leftover food scraps from the garbage. Juan did all he could to ensure his brothers’ survival.
His neighbor would still be in the dark about Juan’s hardship if not for his brother’s constant crying. One day, the neighbor heard unceasing cries coming from Juan’s house. Concerned, they called the police.
Juan and his brothers’ woeful situation came to light when the police arrived at their home to investigate the sounds. It transpired that one of Juan’s brothers had fallen down and was crying as a result of the excruciating pain. Much to their surprise, the police found the four children living on their own, and that Juan had taken on the role of “parent” for his younger siblings.
Incredibly, the children were healthy and wore clean clothes, despite the fact that they were without their parents. After attempts to contact their parents failed, the police sent Juan and his brothers to the family welfare agency.
No one knew how long Juan had been caring for his siblings alone, but clearly, he did an excellent job! Juan, who was mature beyond his years, developed a sense of responsibility not often seen in kids his age. Unsurprisingly, he became a hero after news about him bringing up his brothers was published in local newspapers. We’re glad though that Juan was later able to return to his life as a child.
Hopefully, Juan and his siblings will be well taken care of under the family welfare agency. May the boys grow up to be healthy, intelligent, and kind!
Watch the video (Spanish only):