Case study: Safe havens in El Salvador
“I hope that one day the violence will stop and there will be more friendship between communities.” Gaspar, El Salvador
Gaspar, 10, lives in a desperately poor and violent neighbourhood on the outskirts of San Salvador. Gang violence and shootings are commonplace. It’s too dangerous to go out in the evenings. The sound of gunfire reaches Gaspar as he tries to sleep at night.
CAFOD is working through local family therapists to bring peace to children in the area by creating safe spaces in community centres. Here families can take part in counselling sessions and workshops together.
In Gaspar’s area, they have recently renovated a community centre and basketball court, safe places for children like Gaspar to play and learn. The community centre is also a place where families can talk to psychologists, helping children to achieve their potential in a peaceful environment. "I think we are all equal. God doesn’t discriminate. I don’t think it makes a difference,” says Gaspar.