COVID-19 is much more than a health crisis. In every country it touches, the COVID-19 disease has the potential to create devastating social, economic, and political crises that will leave deep scars.
Every day, people lose their jobs and income and hunger becomes more latent. There is a lack of medicine, water, and no way of knowing when it will return to normal.
The most worrying thing is everything related to the security of the living conditions of the population, which is a matter of human economy, because in countries like ours there is a high proportion of the population living in poverty.
In homes, confinement has generated fears, stress, intolerance, despair, inability to solve problems, and low self-esteem. It has generated intra-familial violence, such as anger, screaming, hitting, etc. The sons and daughters have had to drop out of school, and support their families by working in whatever they can due to the lack of food in their homes. They have had to choose between buying bread for their families or buying an internet card to continue their studies online.
This situation challenges us, as an Alternatives to Violence Project, to be the voice that encourages, motivates, accompanies, to be bearers of peace, solidarity and hope.
Our general objective of the Peace Basket Project PAN / PAV was, to decrease the levels of hunger and violence among the families in greatest need in the communities where the AVP workshops are held. In Guatemala, this project has already helped youth of the School of Peace in San Patricio Amatitlán, a group of women in San Jorge Amatitlán, AVP facilitators, and others in need.
Taking the time to talk with people about their experiences and feelings was very emotional. It was difficult to keep the indicated social distance, to wear a mask; not be able to shake a hand, not be able to give a hug. But, we were able to share a word of encouragement, hope, and ideas that are very valuable. We offered a message of peace, through a bifoliate to youth, women and men, the delivery of a basic basket of food and hygiene items.