2015 is off to a busy start. Cure Violence Founder & Executive Director Gary Slutkin, M.D. just returned today from a two week trip to the Middle East, meeting with NGOs on both the Palestinian and the Israeli sides working to end the violence in Palestine, the West Bank and Gaza.
Cure Violence program sites expanded internationally in 2014, particularly in Latin America.
Latin America & the Caribbean:
• San Pedro Sula, Honduras: Our local partners have been implementing an adapted version of the model since April, 2013 and currently have a staff of 10 interrupters. In addition to interrupting over 1,000 potentially lethal conflicts, local partners initiated ongoing monthly community activities, launched a public education campaign and created partnerships with other community groups to address the violence.
• Juarez, Mexico: Our partners in Juarez officially began phase one of implementation in November of 2014. Full staffing will include 30 interrupters to cover three main “hot spots” in Juarez. Cure Violence staff were in Juarez in 2014 for a two week assessment and planning visit and hosted a two week training and site visit in Chicago for the partner site leadership team.
• Mexico Adapted Prison Program: The Inter-American Development Bank (IADB) has committed funds to adapt and implement the Cure Violence model in a prison outside of Mexico City. Cure Violence will work with local partner Cauce Ciudadano to adapt and implement the program.
• Colombia: Since 2013, several assessment and planning visits from Cure Violence training staff have occurred in Barranquilla and Medellin.
• Recife, Brazil: In partnership with the Bernard van Leer Foundation (BvLF) two assessment and planning visits have occurred in Recife.
• Jamaica: Funded by the World Bank, Cure Violence staff completed two assessment visits in 2014 to meet with key stakeholders and provide recommendations for implementing the national interruption framework in Jamaica.
• Trinidad and Tobago: The National Government approved the Cure Violence program in July 2012 and the Inter-American Development Bank (IADB) has approved its funding. The program, which has a four year funding commitment that includes an independent evaluation, officially begins this month.
▪ Iraq, Cure Violence was under contract from 2008-2013 and trained over 65 interrupters resulted in close to 1000 interruptions and over 14,000 people reached through outreach activities.
• Syria: From August-October 2013, Cure Violence worked with American Islamic Congress (AIC) and FREE Syria to train 133 Syrians on our general approach as well as some key skills (conflict mediation, behavior norm change, mapping violence). Seventy percent of respondents to the post-training survey indicated that they had already had the opportunity to use the training to interrupt violence in their home towns inside Syria within three months of the training.
• Israel/Palestine: Cure Violence has hired a full-time Atlas Fellow from Ramallah who begins work this month.
• Cape Town (Hanover Park), South Africa: With funding provided by the local city council, Cure Violence’s local partner, Violence Prevention through Urban Upgrades (VPUU), opened its first program site in January, 2013. The site currently has 12 staff working in the target area; the program has been extremely successful in reducing shootings and killings and will double in program size to cover an additional target area this month. To date, the staff has interrupted more than 400 conflicts, worked on over 30 “group level “ interventions, launched a number public education campaigns, and continues to hold community events addressed at community norm change.
• Halifax: With funding provided by the Government of Canada, Halifax CeaseFire, the local program partner, began operations in April, 2014..
• Maskwacis Reservation in Alberta: The program is in its first phase of implementation.