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2002 Photo © UNICEF

Leadership

 

Young people rebuilding El Salvador

In El Salvador, a country wracked by poverty, environmental degradation and overpopulation and not so far removed from its long history of war, two major earthquakes knocked the country further to its knees in 2001. While some nations may automatically discount children coming to the rescue, here young people are leading the way to healing.

© UNICEF/TACRO/Wolfgang Friedl

A six-year-old girl removes rubble from her home in Santa Elena, El Salvador, after it collapsed during an earthquake in January 2001.

The Defensorías de los Derechos de la Niñez y Adolescencia is a group of young volunteers helping traumatized children and adults heal from emotional shock.

Begun in 1998 after the havoc left in the wake of Hurricane Mitch, this UNICEF-supported initiative recognizes the leadership potential of children, not only as responders to natural disasters, but also as architects of the future.

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