Our work in El Salvador

A young man runs the local radio channel in Chalate
Over 10 years of civil war have left deep scars on the country. The consequences are still visible today. For many people, violence and unemployment are part of everyday life, and the gulf between rich and poor is very deep. Because of the traumatic experiences that people suffered during the war, psychosocial intervention is extremely important.
The youth gangs in El Salvador are regarded as particularly brutal and violent. They fight each other and recruit children and young people from poor families. The partner organisations of terre des hommes schweiz show these children and young people alternatives to violence and try to break the cycle of violence. It is not only the victims but also the perpetrators who are integrated into the work of the programme. Working with the "maras", the gangs of youths who control the poor districts of the cities, helps reduce the level of violence.

Girls campaign for security guards
In a society where violence is so omnipresent, there are more attacks on women and girls. Our partner organisation Las Mélidas holds training courses for girls on subjects such as self-determination, women's rights, sex education and contraception. One girls' group, for example, is working to ensure that men who carry out sexual offences are punished. Their hard work has resulted in having security guards on the streets.

Dangerous route through Mexico
Many young people see migration as the only way to escape the violence and their lack of prospects. Many head for the USA, but their route leads through Mexico, where are systematic and extremely violent attacks on migrants. In the region of Chalatenango, one of the poorest regions of El Salvador, the organisation CORDES is trying to create alternatives to migration. The young people are supported in their economic initiatives and they are encouraged to speak out.
The Youth2Youth logo


Help for young people from young people.

In all its work in every single country it is involved in, terre des hommes schweiz relies on the strengths of young people. That is why the training programme Youth2Youth has been developed and is growing constantly.