Day long peace workshop at Kinam Hotel in Haiti including members from 13 local partner organizations and AFSC staff.Photo: AFSC / Serginiow Rogene
In neighborhoods of Guatemala and Haiti where there is conflict, teenagers have a lot to cope with. They also have a lot to contribute. AFSC provides training and support to hundreds of young people who are leading efforts to make their communities more secure.
Another year has passed, and still 320,000 people displaced by the 2010 earthquake are living in tents in Port-au-Prince, Haiti. There and in other places where violence is common, AFSC helped establish 32 peace networks this year, led mainly by youth and women affected by high levels of insecurity. More than 820 students and 400 community leaders participated in efforts to reduce violence through dialogue and community organizing.
Urban youth in eight of the most violent and insecure neighborhoods of Guatemala City stepped forward to change their communities as well. Two hundred and seven young people received training in skills such as conflict analysis, active listening, and assertive communication. They also led 3,017 others in discussions and workshops, marches and parades, projects to clean up and reclaim public spaces, and other activities designed to promote peace.
AFSC partnered with the Cuban Quaker Institute for Peace this year, sponsoring a dialogue and exchange activity that brought 27 participants together from 17 Cuban and Latin American organizations to discuss strategies for peace-building and conflict transformation.
We also sponsored an international certification program for 36 public officials and nonprofit leaders from Guatemala, Honduras, El Salvador, Cuba, Panama, Costa Rica, and Peru. Participants studied approaches to urban security that respect human rights, strengthen the social fabric, anticipate violence, and promote community participation.
Preparations continued for a binational program on the U.S.-Mexico border, expected to begin in 2014.