Keyri Martinez

  •  Posted by SCIAF
  •  17 September 2013
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Keyri Martinez is six years old and lives in El Salvador. She is just one of the many hundreds of thousands of people helped by SCIAF supporters each year. She was the face of SCIAF in 2005 and appeared on many posters during our Make Poverty History campaign. Keyri's family are being helped by COMUS , one of SCIAF's partner organisations in El Salvador..




The photo of the family shows Keyri with with her mum [Margarita], dad [Noe], sister [Eleanor] and dog [Peligroso - which means danger]. In 2001, their home was destroyed by a massive earthquake that hit the Usulatan region of El Salvador. The family were homeless for 6 months. For the first 2 weeks they had to live and sleep out in the open - they didn't even have plastic sheeting to shelter under. Keyri's dad used to work as a security guard but he lost one of his legs during the civil war in El Salvador. Like many poor families, they didn't have any insurance or savings to rely on when the earthquake struck.



SCIAF's partner organisation, COMUS, used a new design to build as many houses as quickly and cheaply as possible. This allowed SCIAF's money to be used to help lots of families. A house like Keyri’s can be built for as little as £276 but imagine the difference it makes to each family!



Thanks to SCIAF's support through our partner organisation, COMUS, Keyri's family now have a plot of land and grow cashew nuts, bananas and oranges. They eat some of what they grow and sell the rest. Now they have a regular income and are able to buy whatever they need. COMUS is hoping to attain Fairtrade status for many of the farmers they work with. This will improve their lives even more since it guarantees a fair price for all their produce.

Keyri & Mum


Just a few years ago Keyri and her family were destitute following an earthquake. Now thanks to SCIAF supporters they're back on their feet. They've got a house, are earning a living and have a good future ahead of them. For them, extreme poverty is a thing of the past - it is history. In 2005 SCIAF joined with 500 other organisations to form the Make Poverty History campaign. The aim of the campaign was to help millions of poor families around the globe to escape from poverty in the same way as Keyri and her family did.

Photos: Sean Sprague

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