El Salvador

This project was signed into existence on 17 February 2006 in El Salvador by the Director-General of UNESCO, the Minister of External Affairs and the Secretary of Youth of El Salvador. It was structured in line with the “Mano Amiga” policy implemented by the National Plan for Youth 2005-2015. It officially ended on 5 December 2008.

The project basically operated in 8 Youth Integral Development Centers (Centros Integrales de Desarrollo Juvenil - CID) and was supported by the National Secretary of Youth. These Centers are strategically located close to public schools in 8 different municipalities (Ahuachapan, Berlín, Llopango, Mejicanos, San Franciso Gotera, San Miguel, Sonsonate and Usulutan) in 6 of the 14 districts into which the country is organized.

Evaluations estimate that 10.000 young people from these centers benefitted from the project. In addition, 1200 adults (school principals, teachers and youth animators) were trained to increase their capacities to help socially integrate young people.

The project had 4 components:

  • Component 1: Development of capacities of teachers and school directors to manage risk of involvement in gangs.
  • Component 2: Promotion of a culture of tolerance in Youth Integral Development Centers via sports and cultural activities.
  • Component 3: Creation of a “Youth for Youth” communication campaign and strengthening of alternative communication local networks (radio, TV, Internet).
  • Component 4: Development of entrepreneurial capacities of young people at risk.

The main activities within these components included:

  1. Six workshops on strategic leadership and six workshops on promoting a culture of peace were given to staff members from the CIDs and from local NGOs;
  2. Eight training workshops were given to 200 youths from the CIDs on leadership and youth.
  3. Seven workshops were given to staff members from the CIDs on gender issues;
  4. The campaign “Youth for Youths” held several workshops that enabled 80 young people to develop TV, radio and press campaigns, in order to build a more positive image of youth;
  5. Four training workshops on business management and entrepreneurship were given to 150 youths, and the contest “Make your Business Reality” awarded 15 young entrepreneurs with “seed money” to start their own business.

The project’s final evaluation confirmed its effectiveness, relevance, and impact. The most successful activities in terms of the number of participants and the mobilization of a large number of institutions were:

  1. Workshops on youth leadership;
  2. Communication workshops (radio, TV and press) that involved UNESCO’s communication sector, the Central American University (UCA) and the German Cooperation (GTZ);
  3. Capacity building in micro-entrepreneurship.

The beneficiaries requested the continuation and expansion of these activities in the future.


Project Title:

Youth Development and Prevention of Violence in El Salvador

Institution in charge:

UNESCO Office in San José, Costa Rica, in cooperation with the National Secretary of Youth Affairs, the Ministry of Education and other Governmental Institutions and NGOs.

UNESCO Sector:

Inter-sectoral Working Group (Education, Culture, Communication and Information, Social and Human Sciences)

USD$200.439 - Japanese Fund In Trust (JFIT)

Implementation period:
May 2006 - December 2008

Project Officer:
Teresita Escotto-Quesada (UNESCO San José)

National Coordinator:
Ana Margarita Montoya

For further information, please contact:

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