Case study: Safe spaces from gang violence in San Salvador
"We can become stronger and we can help to make this world a better place through our friends, through our family, and through our own strength." Pavel, El Salvador
Pavel lives in in a very poor neighbourhood on the outskirts of El Salvador's capital city, San Salvador. There is much gang violence and gun battles are common. Young people are afraid to cross the boundary between the gangs' areas and some have stopped going to school.
CAFOD is working through the sisters of St Clare to bring peace to the lives of children in the area. They have created safe spaces in community centres where families can attend counselling sessions and workshops together.
Pavel and his family attended sessions with psychologists and he now works as a young leader in his community, ensuring that younger children have the chance to develop their skills and potential in a non-violent environment. "It really helps young people like me to be a part of this. It's an inspiration for us to belong to a programme which tries to help other young people."