The first changes that our partners support children to make are almost always personal ones. They help children to understand that they have value and they help them explore their interests and skills so that they can begin planning a more positive future. By building their self-esteem and developing their understanding of their rights, our partners help young people transform their way of thinking about themselves.
Fourteen-year-old Ana, who attends our partner Corpolatin’s project to promote safe, peaceful schools, achieved just that. When she joined the project she was aggressive and talked over her peers, but she confided in a member of the project staff that her behaviour was down to her stressful home life. Her father, a single-parent, spent his earnings on alcohol and drugs and acted aggressively towards her and Ana was working outside school hours to earn money for food.
Corpolatin provided Ana with psychological support which gave her the confidence to tell her father that he needed to change and that it was his responsibility, not hers, to provide for the family. Since then her home life has been improving and Ana has become a youth leader at the project where she promotes the benefits of peaceful coexistence in and out of school.
Note: This is a real story. Only the name and photo have been changed for child protection reasons.