Arigatou International Geneva, in collaboration with the Centro Bartolomé de las Casas, organised a Training Workshop on how to use the Learning to Live Together (LTLT) programme in San Salvador from 6 to 10 February 2017. The workshop targeted 28 facilitators working at risk areas in the municipalities of Mejicanos and Apopa, particularly in the areas of Montreal and Popotlan, highly affected by gang violence, and that are committed to implementing the LTLT systematically in their institutions with children and families in formal and non-formal education.
During the workshop participants discussed and reflected about the issues affecting children in the family, school, community, and as individuals while being introduced to the ethics education framework.
Participants highlighted the issue of gang violence as the main cause for the lack of safe environments in all the contexts and as an important factor in the cycle of violence in which children, families and communities live.
The lack of safe spaces where children and families can strengthen the sense of belonging and feel supported and protected; poverty, alcohol abuse, and unemployment affecting the families were also pointed as contributors to violence.
Participants reflected on how they could address these issues, create safe learning environments where children feel encouraged, protected and can develop and strengthen their identity in relation to others. They also reflected on how to create opportunities for children to learn and how to provide them with spaces where they can go for reflection about who they are, where they belong and who they want to be.
Participants experienced how to concretely design, implement, monitor and evaluate a LTLT programme to empower children and families to find non-violent solutions to conflicts, nurture their critical thinking, affirm and develop their identity, self-esteem and self-concept while strengthening their ability to make ethical decisions.
Ms Andrea Flores and Mr Cristopher Sanchez from Centro Bartolomé de las Casas will follow-up and monitor the implementation of the LTLT program. The Arigatou Geneva office will provide constant technical support.
The workshop took place within the framework of a two-year project titled Bridging the Gap, funded by Cordaid, that aims to strengthen the local and social fabric and youth leadership in at risk areas in El Salvador. Mr Larry Madrigal, Ms Rivy Plapler, Mr Rutilio Delgado, Mr Walberto Tejeda and Ms Vera Leal, facilitated the workshop.
Our sincere gratitude goes to Centro Bartolomé de las Casas for the organisation of the workshop and for putting Ethics Education for Children at the heart of Bridging the Gap.