ESD Global Launches in Latin America
As the ESD Global Regional Coordinator for Latin America and the Caribbean, my favorite job is sharing the successes of the growing regional Empowerment Self-Defense community. UN Women reports that our region has the second-highest rate of intimate partner violence in the world, which highlights the need to train new ESD instructors and to support their work to provide violence prevention education.
In July, 18 women from 10 countries completed the first Latin America ESD Level 1 Training at the UN University for Peace in Costa Rica. Hanna Gabriels, World Boxing Champion and ESD Global Graduate and spokesperson, met with the President of Costa Rica, Carlos Alvarado Quesada, to promote integrating Empowerment Self-Defense nation-wide.
Hanna and I co-taught a course for women living in rural areas, which is the first step of a new initiative to provide women and children in these beautiful, yet vulnerable enclaves with ESD skills to counter violence.
Fellow ESD graduate, Daniela Lizano, an experienced Krav Maga instructor, is integrating ESD into her courses, and reaching new populations in Costa Rica. New program partners in Costa Rica include women-led grassroots organizations, Universities, and the Women's Ministry. We have seen a very fast implementation of ESD Global’s boundary setting and assertive communication tools by our new graduates in the region. In Brazil, Pamela Mussi and her team have added new ESD tools to their "Empodere-se!" model and taught 6 communities, reaching more than 140 women, including members of the Queer community.
In Chile, the Autodefensa Mujer, instructor team is growing and teaching more ESD courses to diverse communities particularly for women and individuals in situations of risk, for girls, for elderly women as well as for individuals with diverse physical abilities. Recently, ESD Global graduate, Elizabeth Hang, presented ESD skills at a regional UNHCR staff training. Dayra Fyah, in Mexico City, teaches ESD in the region with the highest incidents of femicide in Latin America.
I look forward to sharing more news from the ESD Global graduates in other parts of Latin America and the Caribbean.