South America

Project focuses on education to reduce violence

Partnership of schools with the Secretary of Security of the Government of the State of Paraná aims to guide students.

Curitiba, Brazil | Kívia Henning

Recently, in Curitiba Brazil, the “Child Disarmament” campaign aimed to take hundreds of violent toys from the hands of young people. 

On April 15, students from the Centennial Adventist College gathered to participate in the “Child Disarmament” campaign. The secretary of security for the State of Paraná chose the school to be one of the campaign’s headquarter schools. The campaign encourages children to exchange toy weapons or violent games, for a ball. The idea is for them to have new experiences in a more healthy way.

The participants of the project live in Curitiba, where one in 10 homicides are committed by adolescents. Data from the National Public Prosecutor's Office show that the earlier they receive good guidance, the less likely they are to commit crimes.

In order for the exchange of objects to happen willingly, the students attended lectures about violence and were able to see that it is not worthwhile, or a joke. In all, a thousand balls were exchange for the toys.

Nicolas Clame, 11, is a student at Centennial Adventist College and has also given up his toy gun. "The ball encourages sport, unlike the weapon, which encourages violence. We have to work together, so I am supporting this project and changing my weapon for the ball.”

The initiative tightens social ties and shows that the image of the police may be of less about control and more about education.