The Integracion Juvenil (IJ) Project was established in 1978 to create a safe place for vulnerable young people to escape from the street culture.
At the centre children are able to participate in woodwork and sewing classes, art and handicraft workshops and a beauty salon class. Over 200 children aged between 7 and 16 years old currently attend the IJ centre. Many of them have come from desperate circumstances.
The centre also provides intensive literacy classes which are designed to help young people re-enter the education system. For those children that are not returning to school, the project offers a refuge where healthy social interaction and values are fostered. The centre provides a ‘home away from home’ for many children, giving them glimpses of hope and an alternative to the only lifestyle that they have known - one of abject poverty.
Classes take place in the afternoon, thereby enabling children to continue their formal education in the morning. The IJ project is free for the children and provides transportation and educational materials, such as notebooks and pens.
Thanks to WER funding, IJ is developing a sports and recreational facility, incorporating volleyball, basketball and baseball play areas.The project is also looking to expand its facilities and develop a computer and multi-media lab, which would supplement IJ’s existing education programme.
For more details on this project, visit the Integracion Juvenil website.
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