The Peace Program
There are a number of risk factors contributing to high levels of youth violence and crime in El Salvador, including high rates of poverty, inequality, unemployment and school drop-outs , dysfunctional family structures, easy access to arms, alcohol and illegal drugs.
Promoting a culture of peace through multidisciplinary interventions for youth living at risk.
Youth in two vulnerable communities in San Salvador: Apopa and La Chacra
The Peace Program is a set of interventions aimed at promoting peaceful coexistence and reducing psychosocial risk factors that are present in youth at two vulnerable communities in San Salvador (Apopa and La Chacra).
Previously, from 2016 to 2020, The Peace Program ran as a project that aimed to provide practical tools for people to interact peacefully in their daily lives. This was launched as part of a larger memorial of the 25th Peace Accords. In 2020, the Program evolved from a project to something larger, a Program that would group several projects with a common goal: promoting peaceful co-existence and reducing violent behaviors amongst the youth.
Direct beneficiaries: 197 children and youth
Indirect beneficiaries: 591 family members and their communities
The peace program is currently in stage execution, the beauty of having several mini projects is that it always allows to have an intervention going on.
Pintando Futuros (Ran and led by the Global Shapers San Salvador Hub)
1st Cohort - Starting Date: July 2019
1st Cohort - End Date: November 2019
2nd Cohort - Starting Date: March 2021
2nd Cohort - End Date: November 2021
3rd Cohort - Expected Starting Date: March 2022
3rd Cohort - Expected End Date: November 2022
Rayo de Sol (Ran and led by the Global Shapers San Salvador Hub)
1st Cohort - Starting Date: October 3rd, 2020
1st Cohort - End Date: December 6th, 2020
2nd Cohort - Starting Date: April 3rd, 2021
2nd Cohort - End Date: December 5th, 2021
3rd Cohort - Expected Starting Date: April 2022
3rd Cohort - Expected End Date: December 2022
Proyecto Chispa (Ran and led by the Global Shapers San Salvador Hub)
1st Cohort - Starting Date: June 2021
1st Cohort - End Date: July 2021
2nd Cohort- Expected Starting Date: TBD
2nd Cohort - Expected End Date: TBD
Tech Reboot (Ran and led by the Global Shapers San Salvador Hub)
Starting Date: April 24th 2021
End Date: May 15th 2021
Currently, the Program has four interventions or projects that are entirely ran and led by the Global Shapers San Salvador Hub:
Pintando Futuros (Painting futures)
After a successful pilot program in 2019, where kids - in partnership with the city´s modern art museum - painted and exposed 120 art pieces, the project evolved to a community-based project where art students went to the communities rather than the communities to the museum.
This project currently consists of local artists/students providing art classes to children ages 7 to 15 on weekends to provide safe spaces where the community can interact through art and kids can develop their artistic skills, self-esteem and self-confidence. The classes are not random. The paintings touch upon scarcely-spoken topics in the communities such as children´s rights, empathy, violence, moral values, amongst others.
Pintando Futuro has 124 participants.
Rayo de Sol (Sunshine)
This project seeks to promote pro-social behaviours through music appreciation classes, dancing and eurythmics classes to children ages 4 to 7. Even before the pandemic, the project was thought in an online format to overcome access difficulties and had the participation of 20 children in the first cohort (2020) and it currently runs with a 23-strong cohort.
The project allows for children and their family to:
Improve children´s self-esteem by exposing them to creative tasks and activities with third parties outside their family and communities
Reduce social gaps by exposing children and their families to music genres and a formal musical environment that is normally alien to vulnerable communities but not uncommon in well-off communities
Increase family interactions by attending classes together and engaging in family-inclusive activities. The activities during the classes promote empathy and affection which is lacking in some families
Provides a frame of reference of a previously unknown world (music as a profession and career) for children
Although the activities are designed for children, they often have the participation of other family members thus promoting an -often rare- family activity.
Proyecto Chispa (Spark)
The project seeks to promote physical and mental skills and competencies in adolescents (12 to 18) through physical and mental training sessions. Through weekly guidance, the project contributes to the creation of healthy habits, reflection, self-knowledge of one´s body, self-efficacy and the ability to establish and commit to goals.
All of the above-mentioned skills and characteristics that the project enhances constitute a strengthening of protection factors and thus mitigate and reduce the risk of youngsters joining gangs or engaging in violent behaviors.
The project, which started in 2021, currently has 15 participants.
Tecnología Educativa (Tech Reboot)
This project seeks to reduce the digital gap increased by the COVID19 pandemic mandatory swift from in-person to all-digital education amongst the youth. Weekly sessions provide technological resources to thrive in this new, digital learning environment.
This particular project is approached with the United States Association of US Scholars of the State Department. It currently has 35 beneficiaries aged between 15 to 20. All interventions are carried along in partnership with Alight´s Colour Movement and Apostolic Sisters of Jesus Heart and the Sisters of the Guardian Angel.
Short & Long-Term Goals/Results:
To promote peaceful co-existence and reducing violent behaviors amongst the youth.
Available metrics consist in the number of participants in each particular project of the program
Further metrics to assess impact remains to be performed
Art Department of the National University of El Salvador
Tin Marín’s Children Museum
Catholic Nuns from Ángel de la Guarda El Popotlán, Apopa.
Catholic Nuns from Parroquia Madre María de los Pobres, La Chacra