Honduras has earned the unenviable status of having some of the most dangerous cities in the world that are not at war. Nationally, Honduras’s homicide rate is around 80 per 100,000—nearly eight times greater than what is considered to be an epidemic. In some communities, the actual murder rate could be more than double the national average.
With the financial support of the U.S. Agency for International Development, the Honduran Youth Alliance (Alianza Joven Honduras in Spanish) has strengthened and established a combined total of 64 outreach centers that have benefitted more than 34,000 youth with English, IT and life skills instruction–and is presently developing 16 more centers. The Honduran Youth Alliance supports civil society organizations in advocacy and oversight efforts for violence prevention and conducts impactful national and local violence prevention campaigns.
Through solid partnerships with the private sector, which include more than 100 alliances, the alliance has trained youth in skills for income generating activities. The program has also worked in juvenile justice, providing trainings to juvenile justice operators and supporting positive reforms to the system.
AJH has built a strong partnership with the Honduran federal government. Based on the program’s positive results in communities and municipalities, the Honduran government has contributed more than $2 million to support the Outreach Centers, IT trainings for youth and violence awareness campaigns.
The Honduran Youth Alliance piloted a secondary prevention project leveraging a family-based model. Called PROPONTE, the pilot used the Youth Services Eligibility Tool (YSET) to identify youth at the highest risk of joining gangs in five communities in Tegucigalpa. PROPONTE provided counseling and other support services to the youth and their families that participated in the project.
At the end of the pilot period (November 2013 to June 2015), the interventions significantly reduced youth risk factors among youth in the project, including a 77 percent drop in the crime and substance abuse risk factor, a 78 percent drop in antisocial tendencies and 76 percent decrease in guilt neutralization.
Based on the successful pilot, USAID is funding a larger initiative called Proponte Más.
In its five years, Alianza Joven Honduras-USAID built a robust, nationwide violence prevention network that extended from youth volunteers in some of the most at-risk communities to government ministers. Explore its Outreach Centers, life skills coaching, Microsoft Academies, machismo workshops and other building blocks of a sustainable violence prevention approach in this special report.
In Honduras, violence prevention belongs to everyone
For residents in at-risk Honduran communities, the Alianza Joven Honduras-USAID project has mobilized critical resources and energy to make their neighborhoods safer. Learn More...
Jenny Willier Murphy