Bolivia's traditional communities impose strict boundaries on young people. Jobs are in short supply and young people are given limited scope in the public arena. To make matters worse, many are victims of domestic violence.
The Solidar programme is intended to combat discrimination and violence, alcohol and drug abuse and resignation facing young Bolivians today. Cultural activities such as drama and film-making encourage young people to face their situations and address current social issues. By producing films and radio programmes highlighting their concerns, the youngsters broaden their horizons, becoming more aware of democratic processes and social issues.
For example, young people from the mining town of Huanuni were active in the creation of a new cultural centre for the community. In Santa Cruz, the LanzArte drama group for young offenders encouraged self-reflection and social integration. In Copacabana, the drama group's version of Swan Lake explored gender stereotypes. Cochabamba's dance and drama ensemble addressed bullying and discrimination in schools. Young people in Sucre and Rurrenabaque founded film clubs and have produced shorts on domestic violence and the discrimination of youth with physical disabilities.
These initiatives go beyond complaints about grievances. Instead, they propose specific, community-based solutions for a fairer, more democratic society, in which there is no room for racism and discrimination, a society that respects human rights and takes the concerns of young people seriously.