UCB World Of Hope: Nicodemus in Guatemala

Life on the streets of Guatemala isn’t easy. Issues such as gang culture, drugs and prostitution are widespread. Join Steve Miles as he learns about the Nicodemus and sees first-hand how they’re helping young people to leave the streets and change their communities together.

Presenter of the documentary, Steve Miles, was taken on a journey of discovery of the work of the Nicodemus to investigate its effectiveness by speaking with many beneficiaries and experienced the work first hand, including some extremely difficult moments! Steve found that life on the streets of Guatemala is NOT not easy. Issues such as gang culture, drugs and prostitution are widespread. 30 years of civil war in Guatemala, ending in 1996, impacts three generations, leaving a legacy of many social problems.

One of the values of the Nicodemus, that Steve discovered, was that as beneficiaries are helped they are encouraged and supported to help others. When describing what he had seen, at one point during the documentary, he said ‘maybe it is better to give than receive’. This conclusion was one he came to as he saw many young adults, who themselves have had traumatic lives, helping others. Steve was ‘challenged and inspired’ by what he saw, for example, when he met Gerson who had not long left the streets helping and encouraging others to leave street life. Qualified by experience, Gerson is able to do this extremely effectively and gives a heart-rending description of what his life was, what he is doing now, and why he wants to help others.

The documentary covers street child and youth rescue, abused teenage girls restoration and care, a school on the edge of a rubbish dump serving children whose families work on the dump and ‘Young Adults with Purpose, a project that supports young adults from extreme poverty with mentoring, education and delivery of their community work. Gerson is just one of these young adults, who together with Carmen, are featured and are extremely open about their lives, current progress and future.

The documentary aired first on UCB TV 19th April 2015.