A program to involve youth in symphonic music offers hope away from the dangerous streets of El Salvador's capital city. Reuters offers the story of the Don Bosco Youth Symphony Orchestra and Chorus:
The sweet sounds of classical music float across a sunny courtyard as a group of teenagers pluck the strings of violins and cellos.
But beyond the high gates enclosing the courtyard of the Don Bosco Industrial Polygon Centre, home to El Salvador's first and only youth orchestra, the sounds most likely to be heard are of gunshots.
The center on the eastern side of the capital San Salvador is surrounded by gang-infested areas where daily turf wars have made the small Central American nation among the world's most deadliest.
On the road leading to the center stands a teenage girl with red hair, a sign she is a gang member, a mobile phone glued to her ear, checking every person and car that enters.
But inside the building, there are no such controls. The orchestra has become a safe haven from the surrounding violence for hundreds of children who live in gang-controlled neighborhoods.
The Don Bosco Youth Symphony Orchestra and Chorus aims to keep teenagers off the streets and away from the gangs by offering them an alternative to gang life and culture.Read the rest of the story here.
Through music and being part of an orchestra, teenagers find a sense of identity and purpose, countering some of the push factors that cause young people to join gangs