Ingrid Graves and Linda Adami (Washington, DC)
Today, USAID and Creative Associates International inaugurate the 100th Outreach Center in El Salvador. Under the USAID-funded Youth Alliance Program, Creative established the first outreach centers in Guatemala in August 2006 to prevent crime and reduce violence at the community level. Creative has since partnered with USAID to open 97 “Por mi Barrio” (For my Neighborhood) Outreach Centers in four countries: Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras, and Panama.
This week marks the opening of the 98th, 99th, and 100th outreach centers in Panama, Honduras, and El Salvador, respectively. In Honduras alone, outreach centers have reached over 12,000 at-risk children and youth from the most violent communities. At the core of the program’s success is a critical partnership with local communities to address widespread challenges with gang-related violence. The centers provide a safe space for youth to gather, to receive training in marketable skills, to access academic tutoring, to gain opportunities for employment, and to volunteer, helping them become catalysts of positive change within their communities.
The Outreach Centers are staffed by youth who work as volunteers and mentors, creating opportunities for young people to become leaders in their community and encourage their peers to disengage from violence.
As we celebrate the inauguration of the 100th Outreach Center in the region, Creative thanks our partners, volunteers and community leaders who have supported each Center with such dedication and the commitment to end violence by providing youth with opportunities for youth. USAID/El Salvador Mission Director Kirk Dahlgren, USAID/Honduras Mission Director James Watson, Creative Chiefs of Party Harold Sibaja and Salvador Stadthagen, and Creative Senior Vice President Thomas Wheelock led the celebrations on the ground. The inauguration of the 100th Outreach Center in El Salvador is a significant milestone that commemorates what we have learned and achieved from 99 outreach centers that have come before.
Congratulations to the staff, volunteers and community leaders from every Outreach Center. Each new center is a monument to past successes. Thank you for your hard work, dedication, and efforts to better your community. Creative is proud and honored to work with each community as a partner.