August Focus: El Salvador
We’re continuing our Strong Women, Strong World country series, focusing on one country a month. We’ll share stories about World Vision projects from that country throughout the month. For August, our focus is El Salvador.
In the male-dominated culture of El Salvador, women often are victims of inequality and violence. Many Salvadoran women have been abused at some point by a man close to them. Yet the acts frequently go unreported and perpetrators remain unpunished by the judicial system because society is often accepting of the abusive behavior. Crime rates are very high in El Salvador, negatively affecting the economy. Increasing gang-related violence among youth led to all-time high level of homicide and other crimes in 2009. World Vision has been working in El Salvador since 1975. Today, World Vision is working toward successful partnerships with communities to mend gender-related dynamics. World Vision’s child sponsorship program plays a vital role in this partnership, with donors from the United States sponsoring more than 21,500 children.
In El Salvador, World Vision’s Strong Women, Strong World initiative focuses on child protection and gender equity. The Channels of Hope for Gender program is more than just training or education. It is life transformation. People trained in Channels of Hope for Gender return to their communities to mobilize their faith congregations and other groups to form volunteer committees which, in turn, begin to sensitize communities on gender justice, which empowers churches to serve the needs of their communities. Churches in El Salvador have been engaged in this program since 2006. It was initially used to help churches speak up about sexuality and HIV from a Christian perspective. Channels of Hope for Gender is an updated version of this tool, which nurtures and disciples pastors to understand the biblical view of gender equality. World Vision has successfully used this program in Africa to reduce gender-based violence and protect mothers and children.
Stories in this series: