ConDev is teaming up with the Conflict and Development Foundation (CDF), Food for the Poor and the New Horizons for the Poor Foundation to reduce youth violence in El Salvador by getting urban youth involved in hydroponic gardening.
This program includes an evaluation component as well. The study, which will take place in Ciudad Delgado, seeks to:
- collect data on the inter-relationship between youth malnutrition, school desertion, and gang recruitment in the target communities;
- identify the main types of violence affecting youth in the target communities; and
- determine if participation in the semi-urban hydroponic gardening project and complementary social and cultural inclusion activities has an effect on reducing youth violence activities and gang involvement.
The program’s innovative nutritional approach hopes to engage youth in food security activities—using hydroponic gardens to produce leafy vegetables—and promote participation in violence prevention programs. The program includes demonstrations of how to cook healthy recipes using hydroponic vegetables.
As a result of this program, 60 young people who were previously active members of gangs have moved away from crime and are developing teamwork and social skills through agriculture.