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UNV joins youth violence reduction project in Honduras

09 August 2006

Bonn, Germany: In a joint programme with several UN agencies, UNV volunteers are going to work over the next two years with the youth in Honduras to curb the spread of violence in three municipalities.

The municipalities – Comayagua, Choluteca and Juticalpa – have a high prevalence of violence and yet basic support for carrying out preventive measures is present.

The Government of Japan recently donated nearly US$ 1.3 million to the human security project – entitled "Joint Programme for the Support of Human Security in Honduras" – through the United Nations Trust Fund for Human Security. US$ 400,000 of the funds is earmarked for UNV. Japan and the UN Secretariat launched the Trust Fund in March 1999 to finance projects for advancing human security.

The UN System in Honduras – UNICEF, the World Health Organization (WHO), the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), the UN Population Fund (UNFPA), the UN Development Programme (UNDP), and UNV – will implement the project.

Ten UNV volunteers – including nine from Honduras – will support the project. Three of them will carry out local activities in each municipality together with the Mayor’s Office, civil society and local government institutions. Volunteer involving organizations will help in rallying volunteers and the communities at large.

The project aims to set up a Municipal Committee against Violence in each community as the lead body in reducing violence. UNV volunteers will form the committees and mobilize youth around recreational activities. Cultural and sporting events will be promoted to the youth to ensure their inclusion and participation and to dissuade from violence.

UNV volunteers will also help in providing access to training and job opportunities. Courses in finance, administration and marketing will be offered with subsequent placements in local companies. In the project’s first year, about 100 youth will be targeted.

The project will also offer training in English and information technology as well as practical skills such as interview techniques, CV writing, and teamwork.

UNV partners with UNICEF and FAO to collaboratively reduce risk factors, one of the project’s four components. The other three components entail: 1) identifying and creating local networks for the reduction of violence, led by UNDP; 2) involving the public in the fight against violence, led by UNFPA and UNICEF; and 3) making information available on the project, guided by WHO.

A stakeholders’ workshop is to be held in August to launch the project’s action plan for the first year.

UNV is administered by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP)