Father Gabriel has dedicated his life to helping the poor. He has faced several attempts on his life as a result of his work.
During a war in Colombia that has lasted more than 60 years, almost six million people have been forced to flee their homes and over 200,000 have been killed. Children have been severely affected. When, at the age of 37, Gabriel Antonio Mejía Montoya saw the children living on the street outside his home he founded the Hogares Claret foundation and its first centre for homeless children.
Today, the foundation runs 52 children’s centres. They care for 4,000 children and young people who have lived as street children or child soldiers, as well as children serving their sentences in the foundation’s detention centres for young people. The efforts of Gabriel and Hogares Claret have improved the lives of tens of thousands of children.Father Gabriel, was honoured by World’s Children’s Prize in 2018 for his more than 30-year struggle for Colombia’s vulnerable children – homeless children, child soldiers and children sentenced to prison.