If you find yourself near Medellín, Colombia this Saturday night make sure not miss a guaranteed good time at the main hall of Saint Vincent Ferrer Parish in the hillside community of San Javier La Loma. The bloggers from HiperBarrio are organizing the festive event to raise funds in order to finish their all-volunteer construction of a new house for Manuel Salvador, formerly known as Suso Mugre.
The story of “dirty Suso” was the first collaborative investigative report by the young citizen journalists of the HiperBarrio project. Much to their surprise they discovered that Manuel Salvador was an integral part to their local history – his parents donated the land where today the parish, school, library, and town square all sit. But Salvador was left without any inheritance and has lived most of his life collecting and recycling glass bottles.
The members of HiperBarrio decided that journalism for the sake of journalism wasn't enough. In February of this year, after organizing a successful community fundraiser, they purchased some basic building materials and began constructing a new house for Salvador with running water, electricity, and a roof to keep him dry on rainy days. In May of this year his “house” looked like this:
Today, thanks to the generous commitment of time and energy by the HiperBarrio team, Salvador's new home is nearly complete:
Still, there are a few important missing details like windows, flooring, and basic appliances. In order to finish their project that has been nine months in the making, the bloggers are hosting one more fundraising event this Saturday night. Their goal is to raise a total of $500, which will enable them to buy the supplies to put the finishing touches on Salvador's new home.
San Javier La Loma's “cancha acústica”, a public square in front of the Saint Vincent Ferrer parish.
They are asking fellow bloggers to write about the fundraiser and post this banner on their blogs. They are also effectively using social networks like Facebook by creating an event page for the fundraiser and using Facebook's “Causes” application.
If you're not able to make Saturday night's party in person, you can still support the campaign to finish Manuel Salvador's home. Please consider donating $10 to their cause by using the Paypal donation button below.