In the Colombian capital, Bogota, between four and five thousand boys -- aged from five to fifteen -- continue to resist every attempt to lift them out of a life of independent poverty.
GV PAN crowds around football stadium.
SV Gamines around soft drink crates.
SV & CU Gamines boys (2 shots)
SV ZOOM to CU Gamines approach camera.
SV & CU Gamines boy sleeping in pile of newspapers on pavement. (2 shots)
SV Readsweeper PAN to two Gamines huddled against wall. (3 shots)
SV PAN Gamins boys waiting to be fed.
SV & CU Soup ladled out. (3 shots)
CU Boy eating soup
GTV Soup being ladled out.
CU Rolls handed to boys (3 shots)
SV Girl sharing soup and boy clowns in front of camera.
SV Boy stacking empty plates.
SV & GV Boys washing clothes and showering. (5 shots)
Initials RW/VS 15.41 RW/VS 16.01
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Background: In the Colombian capital, Bogota, between four and five thousand boys -- aged from five to fifteen -- continue to resist every attempt to lift them out of a life of independent poverty.
The children are known as Gamines or Caras sucias (dirty faces) and they live and sleep on the streets of Bogota.
Some have been abandoned by their families, some are orphans and others simply ran away from home and joined the Gamine gangs.
They live by begging, scavenging and sometimes by stealing.
Authorities and charities in Colombia have made numerous attempts to rehabilitate the Gamines but without much success. There is even a special police force -- the Policia Infantil, which specialises in handling children.
Despite everything, the Gamines maintain a tough independence and apparent contempt for an adult and ordered world.
The Children, generally, maintain a tough independence and an obvious contempt for an ordered world, ruled by adults.
One child summed up the attitude to many when he told newsmen: "It was very hard to sleep in the street for the first time. I felt deprived and hated everybody. Now I don't....I'm just as good as other children." A recent report to Colombia's National Psychiatry Congress concluded that the Gamines were seriously emotionally retarded. Since then, experts have made other studies of them, and some have concluded that charitable gestures, such as soup kitchens, will never get the Camines off the street of the Colombian capital. Certainly, the Gamines are not short of recruits.