Venezuela: the culture of nonviolence is replicated in Petare


An article from Cronica Uno

The Diploma in Leadership and Management of the Culture of Peace and Nonviolence is in its second year of application. Cristian and Patri are among a score of boys (many of them already university students) who want to replicate the knowledge needed to attain the culture of peace at the Manuel Aguirre school, located in the neighborhood 24 de Marzo de Petare, Caracas.

“I am 19 years old and I am pleased”, says Cristian Chacón expressing with his body as well as words that he wants to help others and thus attain the culture of nonviolence.

He does social advocacy work. When he graduated from Bachiller he joined an organization called Une Futuro, which works in the formation of leaders with positive influence.

For two years he took part in the training. The first year was personal growth and in the second year, together with his classmates, he presented the project “Youth without diapers”, which was judged among the 10 best in Latin America.

Cristian wanted to continue training as a leader for the common good and so he entered the Diploma in Leadership and Management of the Culture of Peace and Nonviolence that is carried out with the partnership of the organizations Opportunity CA, Monte Ávila University, ReconciliAcción and Mujeres for Citizenship

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(Click here for the original Spanish version of this article.)

Question for this article:

Where is peace education taking place?

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For five hours they give talks, shared tools, help develop life projects, and talk about how to achieve nonviolence, even living in a dangerous place.

“And we found that the students have dreams and that like us they want a better future for the country. What we do is show them with examples of life that this path can be reached and that communication reduces hostility, for example. I apply that with my family, I did it in my building and I have had results “, said Cristian.

The Manuel Aguirre School serves a population of 1200 students from First Grade to Fourth Year. You get there by going up La Bombilla, going through narrow streets, in which you can see children walking with bottles on their backs. “Violence is not only when there are weapons or drugs, also what is seen in the neighborhood with the failure of the services is a type of violence and many do not know how to channel that,” says Patri Carrasquel, 19, one of the social leaders that together with Cristian advance the program “Sé, Piensa, Haz Paz” in the sectors of the Sucre and El Hatillo municipalities.

She studied at the Madre Emilia school in Los Dos Caminos and became involved with the Pelicano religious-social movement, which consists of giving orientation and instilling values ​​to the children and providing social assistance in asylums and shelters.

Nowadays she is the national secretary of that movement, which is in five cities of the country and in Peru. “But I wanted to receive more leadership training to be able to continue helping and I found this environment where there are 50 young people doing this, creating awareness and supporting change”.

She is studying International Studies and is in the world of modeling. However, among her main objectives is social work.

All the youth seeking the diploma are scholars. 1200 dollars is paid by the European Community for each of them. The result is that they become agents of change and reconciliation, becoming citizens able to achieve alliances for community projects and create spaces for opportunities.

The next cohort of the diploma begins on June 12, lasts 12 academic hours. More information is available through the networks @oportunidadac, @mujeryciudadania, @peopleinneedcz and @ueenvenezuela.