El Salvador recognizes successes in violence prevention

By Gerson Lara

October 29, 2018

Salvador Sánchez Cerén, President of El Salvador, speaks at the award ceremony. Photos by Gerson Lara.

SAN SALVADOR – Six development projects were recently recognized for their success and contribution to the national Safe El Salvador Plan (“Plan El Salvador Seguro”), a 50-municipality effort to implement crime and violence prevention programming, focused on answering urgent priorities while working toward longer-term goals.

The winning programs, and six honorable mentions, were chosen from a pool of 51 submissions based on their contribution to entrepreneurship, employability, sports, childhood development, victims’ services, art, culture and recreation. The Safe El Salvador Plan is overseen by the National Council for Citizen Security and Coexistence.

Among the winners were two initiatives supported by the U.S. Agency for International Development-funded Crime and Violence Prevention Project, which is implemented by Creative Associates International.

The winning programs were recognized at a Sept. 28 event with Salvadoran President Salvador Sánchez Cerén.

“I congratulate these six programs … [and] appreciate your commitment, efforts and dedication, which strengthen citizen security and violence prevention in our country,” President Sánchez Cerén said. “Let’s continue working, innovating and developing these programs, which look to ensure peace in our communities. Your work is a valuable contribution toward transforming our society, improving peace, tranquility and tolerance.”

The two winning programs supported by the Crime and Violence Prevention Project were the municipality of Usulután’s rehabilitation and revitalization of public spaces and the “My Second Home” Outreach Center in the municipality of Conchagua in La Unión.

The Crime and Violence Prevention Project has supported the creation of more than 160 Outreach Centers in 125 communities, which provide kids and youth with the opportunity to take workshops on setting goals, play sports and music, get help with homework and hang out after school in a safe space.

And a total of more than 100 public spaces have been rehabilitated with help from volunteers and the project, benefitting tens of thousands of people in 18 municipalities.

Each of the six winning programs will receive a $1,000 prize to further its work, and the projects’ staff will also be invited for international learning exchanges about violence prevention.

“Recognizing the success of these violence prevention programs isn’t just about a prize, it’s a way to inspire and drive organizations, institutions, donors and local and federal governments to keep working on prevention, because the results have such an impact on people’s lives,” said Javier Calvo, Chief of Party of the Crime and Violence Prevention Project.

From left: Norma Edith Argueta, Olinda del Carmen Maravilla and Ruldman Ovidio Coreas at the award ceremony. Usulután’s Municipal Violence Prevention Committee was recognized for its efforts to rehabilitate public spaces.

The other winning programs were:

  • Municipal Athletic League, implemented by the Municipal Violence Prevention Committee in Armenia, Sonsonante
  • Luz de Esperanza Josué 1:9, implemented by ADESCO in Zacatecoluca, La Paz.
  • Jóvenes con Todo” job and employability training by INJUVE, the National Institute of Youth, in Mejicanos
  • Soccer tournaments for community rebuilding, implemented by the Municipal Violence Prevention Committee in Jiquilisco.

With editing by Evelyn Rupert.

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