Karina wants a bright future so badly that she’s risked her life to get there. She lives in El Salvador, where more than half a million people
are involved with gangs. Many are young people, desperate for a purpose.
Tragically, gangs contribute to the world’s highest homicide rate for minors. In El Salvador alone, more than 500 youth fall victim every year.
Karina was nearly one of those victims. As she walked the isolated country road from her home to her classes, there was a sudden noise. A minute later, masked men held a gun to Karina’s head and assaulted her.
“Those men must not have been affiliated with the gangs,” says Karina, now 19, “or they would have killed me.”
Although the journey to learning is still perilous, that was the only day Karina has ever missed. A member of World Vision’s J
óvenes Súper Pilas
(Youth Ready) program, she’s got her eyes on the end of the road.
Students in El Salvador face economic and social challenges unthinkable to many Canadians. Like Karina, most leave school early to earn money for the family. But thanks to Canadian support, Karina has resumed her studies with a focus on entrepreneurship. Soon, she’ll create a business plan and receive the seed money to start a handicraft company.
Hearing of the success of Karina and others, adults are stepping forward to donate supplies or sign on as mentors. They’re standing firmly behind dedicated learners, like Karina, who are bravely walking the road to transformation.