Homies Unidos de El Salvador works to rehabilitate and reintegrate young and vulnerable gang members into society. Founded in November 1996 with 22 young people from different gangs, it launched a new section in the USA in 1998. Both organisations share programmes aimed at preventing violence in the two countries.
Homies Unidos considers itself an independent, apolitical, areligious organisation committed to young people working to prevent violence. It offers positive and productive opportunities to young people and gags to minimise and prevent violence.organised, committed to young people in gangs working
Homies Unidos has worked with different government and non-governmental organisations on research projects investigating the phenomenon of youth gangs in El Salvador. This has resulted in publications such as “Solidaridad y Violencia en las Calles del Gran San Salvador” (1996) and “Barrio Adentro” (2001).
Homies has also worked with other studies conducted by Unicef and the UNDP, which have taken place in communities with high levels of social risk, helping to generate better understand the causes of youth and gang violence.
Since 1996, Homies Unidos has work on four main programmes:
- Education. This aims to increase and strengthen academic and technical skills of beneficiaries in formal and non formal education, and cultural and recreational opportunities to help the reintegration and development of young people. This is supported by grants for study and training.
- Health: This programme is fundamental to Homies' work. It involves tracking the health of Homies' members, given that many of its beneficiaries are at high demographic risk of diseases such as HIV/Aids.
- Rehabilitation: A significant proportion of Homies' beneficiaries have alcohol or drug addictions, or are at risk of addictions This programme focuses on prevention and rehabilitation programmes.
- Mental health. This programme was founded to deal with overcrowding in the communities where young people at risk lived, and the discrimination faced by those who were members of gangs. Homies Unidos in coordination with other institutions opened recreational spaces with the facilities to mediate and provide training and support for dialogue and to resolve conflicts.
Read more about Homies Unidos: