The Zacatecoluca Mayor’s Office and the U.S. Government, through the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), inaugurated today a Municipal Violence Prevention Center and four youth outreach centers as part of the municipality’s violence prevention plan, “Zacate, Committed!”
The Zacatecoluca Municipal Prevention Center will provide citizens a “one-stop shop” for crime and violence prevention services, including a youth employment office, conflict resolution, a prevention observatory and a women’s unit. USAID has invested $23,000 in equipment and furniture for the establishment of the center. The Zacatecoluca Mayor’s Office provided the infrastructure and office renovation for a total of $8,000.
In addition, USAID has invested $112,000 in equipment and furniture for the establishment of four youth outreach centers ($28,000 for each center), whereas the Zacatecoluca Mayor’s Office, community development associations and religious organizations have provided $18,000 for the infrastructure renovation, salary and the payment of rent, power, water services and Internet in the centers.
Located in high-risk crime communities, the outreach centers provide recreational and educational activities for youth aged 9-29. The centers become a door of opportunity for youth where they can find a different and productive alternative for their lives.
The centers offer several opportunities to children and youth including activities for their spare time, volunteering, job training, after-school tutoring, and the methodology entitled “The Challenge of Dreaming My Life,” which helps participants to create a life plan with short, medium and long-term goals, thus contributing to their own progress and the renovation of their communities.
The communities of Zacatecoluca that now have outreach centers are: Espino Arriba, Espino Abajo, Las Esperanzas, and Liévano. These are included in the municipal violence prevention map and will benefit an average of 200 youth in each center.
The Mayor of Zacatecoluca, Francisco Hirezi; the United States Ambassador to El Salvador, Jean Elizabeth Manes; the Vice Minister of Social Prevention, Luis Roberto Flores Hidalgo; and the Municipal Violence Prevention Coordinator, Manuel Carballo presided at the event.
With a total investment of $24.8 million for the 2013-2018 period, the USAID Crime and Violence Prevention Project supports the Salvadoran government’s Plan El Salvador Seguro, the National Crime and Violence Prevention Strategy and municipal-led prevention plans to reduce crime and violence in targeted high-crime communities.