Breaking the Gang Cycle

In May this year, gang members in El Salvador killed a 16-year old pupil for refusing to join their gang. They shot him against a wall just behind his school.

Tragically, occurrences like this, are not rare this country plagued by gang violence. In August alone 907 murders were recorded across the nation. Entire neighbourhoods are controlled by street gangs using threats, violence and forced recruitment of children to rule their territory. School dropouts become easy targets for gangs who recruit teenagers as drug dealers and couriers.

The combination of poverty, corruption and violence leaves many of El Salvador’s children in need of not only protection but opportunities. They need the chance to sit in a classroom and learn important life skills. They need role models who show them there is another way of life. They need a guaranteed safe place, a refuge from their circumstances. They need a healthy start to life.



Loving Father, we pray for the broken children in El Salvador who are caught up in gangs. Rescue them and remind them of their worth. We pray for families living in dangerous neighbourhoods. We pray that your Son, Jesus, would be their peace-maker. Give courage to all those working to end gang culture and protect, strengthen and uphold the children who are affected by it.
Amen 802 Amens

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Get more involved

Sponsor a child from El Salvador: When you sponsor a child with Compassion, you partner with their local church to ensure that they have access to a safe place- their local Compassion Project. They can go to school, allowing them to break the cycle of poverty which traps families into gang culture and violence. They will be introduced to Jesus and understand the immense love that God has for them.

Speak up for children in El Salvador: Become a Compassion Volunteer and speak up for children living in poverty around the world.

 Visit the website

Brenda Rivas Bolanos (Compassion El Salvador) shares about challenges the country of El Salvador faces and shares that Compassion's strategy for combating and overcoming this history is Jesus.

Compassion is an international child development charity with more than 60 years of experience working with some of the world’s poorest children. At present more than 1.7 million children attend Compassion’s church-based projects in 26 of the world’s poorest countries.

Compassion connects one child with one sponsor and through that relationship ensures that child no longer goes to bed hungry, that they go to school and receive all the medical care they need.

60 per cent of Compassion El Salvador’s church projects are located in violent communities and in these places, many of the children’s parents are gang members themselves. Compassion hosts 50,000 children in its projects across El Salvador and lets them know that they are known, loved and protected. 

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