By Susana Barrera, ENInews/ALC
A series of workshops on building a culture of peace has begun this week in El Salvador, involving youth from several churches and coordinated by the Reformed Church.
Carmen Martinez of the Reformed Church and facilitator for the workshops said that the purpose of this training is to provide the young leaders of the churches with the necessary tools with which to become agents of peace, reports the Latin America and Caribbean Communication Agency (ALC).
"I am inspired by working for peace, because we want to improve the daily living of our communities ... there is a not single family that has not suffered violence," said Osman Arevalo of the Reformed Church.
The methodology used was suggested by the Latin American Council of Churches (CLAI) and validated by the government of El Salvador. Among the instruments for peacemaking taught are a logbook of good practices and a listing of situations and persons who are inspirational to youth for becoming agents of peace.
Central America is considered by the United Nations to be one of the most violent regions in the world not at war. In El Salvador alone, 12 murders are committed each day according to official statistics. Members of the churches do not escape violence and recently an Anglican priest reported having received death threats.
"These opportunities are useful to us for knowing the reality of other communities and how the churches respond,” said Vicenta Hernandez, an Episcopal youth.
Martinez explained that education for peace is not new, and that a campaign was launched in The Hague in 1999. She pointed out that the principal characteristics of the educators for peace are: investigation, action and education for peace.
The facilitator added that the workshops will continue through December and it is expected that a good number of youth will be prepared, so that in a systematized way and with an ecumenical focus, they will multiply and build a culture of peace.