I am 19 years old and I am part of a youth organization that uses hip hop culture as a tool for peacebuilding in our community, Cuscatancingo, which is a vulnerable community with high levels of violence.
I had never heard of AFSC before, until a person from another NGO recommended me to get in with AFSC in El Salvador. Since our first meeting I felt confidence and support; AFSC understood and accepted the work our youth organization was doing. It was very exciting for me to get to know about AFSC programs around the world and the methodology, but especially to know that AFSC is willing to support youth in El Salvador.
I am convinced that being part of a youth organization and receiving trainings to strengthen our leadership capabilities is the best thing that has happened to me. I have been able to grow in many ways (academically, emotionally and socially). With AFSC´s support, we have been able to learn about topics that are prohibited or commonly thought as “not for youth”. With the Local Peace Network methodology, youth in our organization and I have the opportunity to own a space where we can talk about key issues regarding our community and organizing activities to build peace in Cuscatancingo.
I want to keep learning and really hope that organizations like AFSC keep supporting youth that are willing to transform their own countries and communities. As youth, we have the desire to contribute to build a better place with our knowledge, talents and experiences. In Cuscatancingo, many people are thankful with AFSC for opening opportunities they never thought they would have. It is very fulfilling to know that the work AFSC is doing helps us build social cohesion for a better future in our community.