Breaking through the silence
In the terre des hommes schweiz program countries South Africa, Mozambique, Tanzania and Nicaragua, the most effective way to combat violence against women and girls is to involve the entire village community. If neighbours, local authorities or religious leaders take responsibility and speak up, it is possible to break through the silence. It is necessary to push for change from the ground up, especially in places where there are no state-run structures or points of contact. This approach has made it possible to convince religious leaders in Mozambique to speak out against child marriage and permanently reject this practice, which is a huge achievement.
In Columbia, Brazil and El Salvador, terre des hommes schweiz supports projects that provide youth with platforms to actively promote peaceful coexistence. Through creative campaigns and community projects, young people are managing to stop the cycle of fear and mutual mistrust in districts affected by violence. In youth groups, young people learn that there are alternatives to being part of a criminal gang. These initiatives have shown that it doesn’t take much to break the vicious cycle of violence, because there is a strong desire for change.