Combating Violence Against Children

Violence against children is a global problem. According to UNICEF, 1/5 of homicide victims are under the age of 19 and 4 out of 5 kids between the ages of 2 and 14 are subjected to some form of violent discipline at home. On November 30th, Quetzaltrekkers sponsored a theater festival to combat violence again children in Leon. The event was organized by Chavaladas, one of the organizations Quetzaltrekkers supports with monthly donations. The festival used music, dance and theatrical performances to create a dialogue about the effects of violence against children in Nicaraguan society.

Festival for violence against children

Quetzaltrekkers supported the event by paying to rent the municipal theater in Leon. The children were delighted to be able perform in this beautiful building in the center of Leon. Quetzaltrekkers volunteers spent the morning decorating the theater’s stage with balloon displays. Children from several different projects arrived in the afternoon and lined up to have their faces painted by Quetzaltrekkers volunteers.

The children were so happy to have their faces paintedQuetzaltrekkers volunteers painted faces before the show.

A Quetzaltrekkers volunteer paints a boys face

 

After all the children had their faces painted with an assortment of hearts, baseballs and cats, everyone took their seats in the theater and the show began.  Over the next two hours, different groups of children sang, danced, recited poetry and performed skits about the theme of violence against children. One skit which was performed by a group of teenage girls (some of whom dressed in male clothes) addressed the topic of street harassment. Traditional Nicaraguan dances were performed as well as a modern dance addressing the topic of violence and alcohol abuse. It was really amazing to see kids processing this complicated and important topic through art and music. Art, music and culture are powerful vehicles for changing cultural norms. The festival was much more than a day of fun; it was also a step towards a world where all children are safe from violence.

A wonderful performance
The boys from Chavaladas sing a song about violence against children
Children recite poetry at festival
Poetry recital
Traditional Nicaragua Dances performed
A traditional Nicaraguan dance
A skit performed by a group of teenagers
A skit about cycles of violence and the effects of poverty

 

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