REACH offers a number of educational programs, including awareness-raising for at-risk individuals, skills trainings to create alternative ways to achieve economic independence, conventional education for children and adults, and training of corporate and government decision-makers on human rights issues.
Education can take many forms, but in all cases it is essential to effecting change. It can be directed at vulnerable populations and include awareness-raising programs to prevent at-risk individuals from becoming victims; informing victims about services available to them so that they can escape from exploitative or dangerous situations; skills trainings to create alternative ways to generate income and achieve economic independence; or conventional education to give children a better chance of breaking out of the cycle of poverty.
It may also be directed at those with power, including educating governments about the steps that they can take to protect vulnerable populations; raising the awareness of consumers on the effects of their purchasing decisions; or consulting companies on measures to prevent human and labor rights violations in their supply chains. The members of REACH have experience in all of these areas.
For example, REACH provided workshops to prevent domestic, sexual, and other types of violence among women, children, and youth in Massachusetts, USA; Quetzaltenango, Guatemala; and Cusco, Peru. Workshops were provided free of charge to over 1,000 women, children, and youth who had suffered, or were at a high risk of suffering from domestic and sexual violence. Workshops were provided through contacts with local NGOs, temporary shelters, schools, and educational projects that serve economically disadvantaged children.
REACH analyzed informal educational models and designed interactive workshops that motivated and inspired students to actively participate, not only in order to create a more comfortable and engaging environment, but also so that we could learn from participants’ experiences and opinions on domestic violence. REACH used arts and crafts activities to engage the participants and to allow them to express their experiences and feelings in a non-threatening way.
Examples of REACH educational and awareness-raising projects include: