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Salvadoran youngsters discuss pacific alliances in the International Youth Day 2016

San Salvador, 12nd of August 2016. In the framework of the International Youth Day 2016, which focused on promoting Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), the UNDP organized with the support of Balun Films a meeting to discuss Mateo, a Colombian movie that tells the story of a youngster who managed to get ahead in a context of violence.

Around 100 youngsters from Zacatecoluca and Ciudad Delgado, two municipalities that have been prioritized by the El Salvador Seguro Program, and young Technical Committee members of the Human Development Report in El Salvador, attended the screening of the film at a local cinema. Then, they discussed the content of the movie and how it relates to their own reality and challenges to promote the building of a peaceful and safe society in the framework of SDG 16.

26% of the population of Latin America and the Caribbean is aged 15-29, while in El Salvador the percentage increases to 30% according to data from the Statistics and Census Bureau. Both in the region and in the country, youngsters face challenges like unemployment, violence and poverty. The latest affects them disproportionately and has a higher incidence in rural areas.

“Colombian movie Mateo is an invitation to think about the situation of youth in contexts of violence and about how it can be a transforming agent that creates a culture of peace” asserted UNDP Resident Representative Christian Salazar. “We strongly believe that youth can lead a big global change towards a sustainable future in the framework of the new 2030 Agenda”, he added.

Mateo is the result of a long research that director María Gamboa carried out in 2007 in the context of the “Development and Peace” Program, which sought to prevent teenagers from engaging in various armed conflict dynamics in the region of Magdalena Medio, Colombia.

Later, it became the center of the United Nations System communicational campaign “Breath Peace”.

The attendance of youngsters from Zazatecoluca and Ciudad Delgado to the meeting took place in the context of the regional project “Comprehensive Security and Prevention of Violence affecting Children, Teenagers and Youth in CAIS countries” (PREVJUVE), funded by the Spanish government and implemented by the UNDP and the Central American Integration System (CAIS).
Since 2004, the project has been implemented in both municipalities. Youngsters have been trained in life and work skills and integrated productively in society. In addition, PREVJUVE has promoted their integration in community work such as murals, clean-up campaigns, school gardens and other initiatives that had a positive impact on the community.