Efforts done by the National Government and the FARC to end the armed conflict and build a sustainable peace in Colombia constitute an important and necessary step after more than 50 years of conflict.
However, we know that the success of peace building efforts hinges upon construction from the base, inclusive development and on peace leading to a society where all citizens enjoy their human rights.
That’s why Equitas, with the financial support of Global Affairs Canada, and in partnership with TECHO Colombia, is working to ensure greater social cohesion; to empower women, children and youth, and marginalized groups in the broader conversation and recognize their potential as agents of change; and develop a culture of inclusion and human rights.
“We really have to build a new culture of human rights and of peace. In a country that has been fighting for 50 years, we are used to solving our problems violently. (…) Education in human rights will be a core issue for the next years to change the way we have been dealing with each other.”
– Adriana Correa, Centro Nacional de Memoria Histórica, Colombia and Equitas alumna.
What we do
Addressing these challenges through human rights education, Equitas is implementing its project Colombia al derecho (Colombia upright) to:
- equip civil society organizations (CSOs) with human rights knowledge, skills and tools to address barriers to the participation of youth, women and children in decision-making processes;
- strengthen and provide inclusive spaces for civil society, community leaders and government authorities to work collaboratively and promote the participation and inclusion of youth, women and children in their communities;
- enhance the capacity of youth, women and children to engage with decision-makers to better access the services and support systems provided by community and government institutions;
- disseminate good practices, lessons learned, research findings and capacity-building tools on a regional and national level through trainings, community actions, forums and policy dialogues.
Highlights of our work in Colombia:
- presented the results of our baseline study to communities members in the form of a Gallery Walk (2016). The Gallery Walk is a discussion technique which allows community members to view and react to complex information in an accessible, informal and participatory way. It helps the communities see how they will use the mapping and analysis of their community to take action for social change.
“I feel more capable of engaging with key actors to express issues that affect my community.”
– A local leader in Ciudad Bolivar, after participating in our project (2016).
- One local leader in Usme praised the program saying that since in her community there is long-standing resentment as a consequence of years of conflict and violence, community leaders need tools and techniques like those provided by Equitas to engage community members in dialogue in a collaborative and non-confrontational way.
Equitas works in Colombia with the NGO TECHO Colombia.
Our current project is undertaken as part of Strengthening Human Rights Education Globally, with the support from the Government of Canada through Global Affairs Canada (GAC).