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    Helping the kids of Suchitoto use creative expression to heal

    Day 186

    Creating Peace

    Changemakers 365 is all about doing the doable. It’s about opening our eyes to the opportunities to make an impact in a person’s life with relatively few resources – and making change each and every day of the year.

    Part of the Series

    In El Salvador

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    Suchitoto was at the heart of conflict during El Salvador’s civil war. Since then, the town has done much to find peace and rebuild. And much of that healing is due to the vision of one Sister Peggy O’Neall.

    Sister Peggy runs the Centro Arte Para La Paz in Suchitoto. “This is a healing space,” she said. “Our aim is to help people remember what it is to be human.”

    Armed with the deep belief that art and music bring out the very best in humanity, Sister Peggy is a tireless advocate for the arts – especially for young people. Splashes of color and bold sculptures fill the halls. But that also means that teachers are always in need of one thing – more supplies.

    So, we figured, that was something we could help with! We gathered a bunch of supplies – markers, colored pencils, different types of paint, paper, brushes and more. From beginners to more experienced artists, there was something for everyone.

    Javier, one of the art teachers and a longtime dear friend of Sister Peggy’s, was so excited about the supplies. He knows firsthand the power of art to heal, and feels passionately about creating a generation of young people who realize that power.

    “Students gain confidence here,” he said. “They realize their creativity.”


    A boost in materials means that perhaps one more kid can draw for the day. It means that another drawing can go up on the wall. And it just might mean that more young people are inspired to create, to believe in themselves, and to live in the pursuit of peace.

    Changemakers 365

    by American Refugee Committee

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