Country: El Salvador.

Donor: AICS (Italian Agency for Development Cooperation).

Period: January 2018 – December 2020.

Thematic Area: education, inclusive school, strengthening of civil society.

Partners: Soleterre – Strategie di Pace ONLUS (leader), Ministerio de Educación (MINED) El Salvador, Colectivo de Mujeres y Hombres Emprendedores y Emprendedores Chalatecas y Chalatecos – COMHECH, University of Bologna / Department of Educational Sciences “Giovanni Maria Bertin” , Italian Disability and Development Network (RIDS).

General objective: to transform the population and local institutions from “victims” to actors capable of preventing violence, adopting innovative and sustainable socio-educational practices and community policies that promote healthy coexistence and peaceful conflict resolution.

Specific objective: to promote the empowerment of the most vulnerable groups thanks to a better educational offer capable of reducing social exclusion and promoting the socio-economic condition of families in the medium-long term, promoting local development.

Direct beneficiaries: 3,440 minors (7-15 years) involved in innovative socio-educational activities; 161 teachers / school managers from 10 schools strengthened in their teaching and pedagogical skills and networking; 250 parents / guardians strengthened in their educational skills; 130 between public officials, OSC members and representatives of the main awareness-raising stakeholders involved in advocacy, exchange of good practices and networking.

Indirect beneficiaries: 2,000,000 people sensitized through communication campaigns; 65,900 members of the communities improve their socio-economic conditions.

Project summary: With 5278 murders in 2016, El Salvador continues to be one of the most violent countries in the world. Over 10% of the victims are young people and minors, 95% of whom are between 12 and 17 years old. This situation is attributable to “pandillas”, criminal groups that control entire territories and practice forms of violence against the local population, but also to a general spread of violence within communities and families: in 2016, 2250 children suffered sexual abuse, the police received 1583 reports of inter-family violence, especially from girls and young women, while 52% of children between 1 and 14 years of age experienced some type of psychological assault or physical punishment. Violence has now become the main cause of internal and/or foreign migration of entire family groups and many unaccompanied minors. This generalized violence prompted around 15,000 students to drop out of school in 2016. Early school leaving is also attributed to the high pregnancy rate at an early age, which is also behind the high suicide rate of girls and boys, and to the child labor which many young people from their families are forced to.

To cope with this situation, the project aims to promote the testing and systemisation of an integral education model based on a bottom-up approach, through activities such as: strengthening the skills of students, parents, teachers and school managers; technical assistance in schools; training courses and exchange of good practices for teachers and in terms of inclusive education, rights and enhancement of differences, alternative methodologies for conflict resolution and restorative justice; creation of artistic workshops and workshops with students and parents; action research on the situation of violence in the 4 municipalities involved; joint meetings between schools and local institutions for the development of inclusive approaches towards the population; direct support for minors in conditions of greatest exclusion and vulnerability; analysis, development and testing of specific attention protocols for disadvantaged children.