Strengthening the Biophysical Development of Youth and Adolescents in the Communities of Lower Lempa
The Intercommunity Association of Communities Working Together for the Economic and Social Development of Lower Lempa (ACUDESBAL)
Lower Lempa, El Salvador
Youth Development, Education, Violence Prevention
Jan, 2016 - Dec, 2018
According to a 2014 UNICEF report, young Salvadorans aged 10 to 19 experience the highest homicide rate in the world for their age group. It is estimated that 27 out of every 100,000 Salvadoran youth are victims of homicide. The distressingly high rate is largely attributed to El Salvador's widespread poverty and rampant gang violence. Gang territories inhibit entire communities from crossing marked territories for fear of violence or death. Moreover, children and youth are particularly vulnerable as gangs look to recruit children, some as young as eight, to participate in criminal activity and violence.
Horizons is partnering with The Intercommunity Association of Communities Working Together for the Economic and Social Development of Lower Lempa (ACUDESBAL) to provide educational and recreational programs, as well as cultural community events, for at-risk youth in El Salvador. The project seeks to prevent violence in Lower Lempa communities by providing sport and music camps to young people. Through its activities, ACUDESBAL provides youth a space for them to learn and engage with peers freely and without the fear of violence. Children and youth who attend the camps also participate in spiritual classes, which are offered by the local church to explore the principles of compassion and peaceful coexistence. Last but not least, the project has also hosted a variety of cultural events for participating communities, youth and their families to learn about the culture and history of the region.
- ACUDESBAL has supported 1,500 children and youth from 24 different communities access sports and music camps.
- Since launching project, ACUDESBAL has seen a significant drop in youth's involvement in gang activities.
- ACUDESBAL is actively involved with several municipal government and non-governmental organizations to raise awareness of the issues facing young people in Lower Lempa.