With various activities, World Vision aims to generate awareness and reflection on the importance of peace and conflict resolution in the regions of Colombia.

September 21 was the International Day of Peace, but understanding the level of violence and the history of internal armed conflicts that Colombia has had for more than 60 years, it is not enough to celebrate this date in one day. In this vein, World Vision deployed a strategy in different regions of the country to influence more than 2,000 people with messages of peace, forgiveness and reconciliation.

The activities developed were focused on recreational, artistic, sporting and academic exercises. Strategies that have impacted girls, boys, adolescents, youth, religious leaders, teachers, mothers, fathers and caregivers in cities such as Barranquilla and Soledad, Atlantico; Cali Valle del Cauca; and Monteria, Cordoba.

A discussion titled “Let’s talk about peace” was held in the north-east of the country, which aimed to understand the progress and reflections on the findings of the Comprehensive Framework for Peace, Truth, Justice, Reparation and Non-Recurrence.

“It is time to teach their elders to forgive so that they leave behind the ballast of hatred. Many young people are born into environments where death, pain, and division have permeated so deeply that they are left dazed, as if drugged; That is why Pope Francis, during his official visit to Colombia in 2017, invited the suffering of his Colombian brothers to slap them and mobilize them to transform society”. said Yair Yanez, one of the participants of the discussion and who is part of the Peace Managers program.

In addition, it was sought that the educational community and members of civil society realize how, through their daily practice in the family or at school, they can contribute to the construction of favorable scenarios for peace. Representatives of the departmental and local authorities and civil organizations participated in the event.

Similarly, strategies for healthy coexistence with adolescents and young people were carried out in the capital of Valle del Cauca, where World Vision, in alliance with organizations such as the Archdiocese, the Somos Pacifico Cultural Technocenter and the Sports Schools of the 21st Municipality, led a participation space for healthy coexistence and conflict resolution through recreational and sporting activities. This strategy was intended to illustrate how peace begins to be built from small actions and narrow social circles such as school and family.

Finally, in the Department of Atlantico, two activities were carried out that sought to highlight the importance of peace in the urban environment:

One of them was held in the city of Barranquilla and had the participation of educational centers, churches, girls, boys and teenagers who carried out activities such as: painting murals with messages of peace, integration games and conflict resolution and a walk through different popular neighborhoods.

The other activity took place in Soledad, where girls and boys, supported by religious organizations and educational institutions, created the day: a sweet vaccine against violence. A space where the community is integrated into drawings, peace workshops and mural making.

In addition, various young people who have been in vulnerable and dangerous situations shared their life stories and experiences of street situations and drug use, with the aim of raising awareness of the dangers girls, boys and adolescents face in school and in low-income neighborhoods.

With these activities, World Vision seeks to raise awareness of why Colombia should consider and generate commitments around peace, since the challenges of conflict resolution are frequent and diverse; starting from intra-family, school, social problems or on a larger scale at the national level, such as internal armed conflict.

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