El Salvador - Complementary Education for young people

08 July 2016

(ANS - Soyapango) - The Don Bosco University (UDB) of El Salvador and the NGO "Save the Children" have joined forces to coordinate a programme called "Formarte Joven".  Since 2013 it has been offering complementary education to children and young people in 72 educational centres in Sonsonate, Ahuachapán and La Paz.

Under this programme they ran several workshops in creativity, conflict management, interpersonal relations, leadership development activities, and so on. According to the UDB authorities, about 4,500 young people have benefited in recent years.

"The central idea of ​​the programme is to start from children's potential. The aim is to channel their creativity into productive activities.  This opens up new learning opportunities," says Norma Cortez who is director of the "Formarte Joven" programme.

The programme is funded by "Save the Children" and according to Dr Cortez they need $150,000 a year, for the transportation of students, the purchase of materials and uniforms, and for teachers.

The first workshops to be undertaken were in art, painting, colour theory and modelling in resin.  Dr Cortez says that the workshops encourage the creativity of children and young people. This is then reflected in the production of new material. "This kind of learning can become a way of life for them, with positive effects also in the context of entrepreneurship," she says.

Another part of the programme covers oral and written expression, along with art classes and daily music lessons.

The NGO "Save the Children" is also in charge of the workshops on conflict management and the decision-making processes. "We are working to build a culture of peace and prevention of violence," says Dr Cortez.

According to figures released by UDB, 80% of the participants in this first programme are enrolled in a degree course. "Our aim is to help 1,400 young people in 2016," she concludes.


ANS - “Agenzia iNfo Salesiana” is a on-line almost daily publication, the communication agency of the Salesian Congregation enrolled in the Press Register of the Tibunal of Rome as n 153/2007.

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