Weaving peace: strategies for advancing towards peace from the recognition of diversity and equality.
Lina Marcela Muñoz Puerta
Leader of projects and social services
The Claretian Promotion of development Colombia Venezuela, as a work of the Claretian missionaries of the province Colombia and Venezuela, carries out its actions in regions with severe complexities in terms of Human Rights, with particular emphasis in the north and south pacific zone of Colombia, areas that due to issues related to structural problems of institutional type, discrimination, and armed conflict, are located as territories with high deficiencies in health, education, economy, security, among other indispensable aspects for the realization of rights and therefore the development of a dignified life.
To move towards the realization of rights and the protection of life as the highest value and gift, the Claretian Mission in Colombia-Venezuela, through projects with the Proclade Colven, contributes to the realization of SDG16: Peace, justice, and strong institutions through activities, projects, and programs, with women, youth, leaders and social leaders such as:
· Actions for organizational strengthening with associations, collectives, organizations, and ethnic authorities.
· Psychosocial support to victims of the armed conflict with an emphasis on women victims of ethnic groups.
· Pedagogies for peace, conflict management, peaceful resistance, peace agreements in Colombia.
· Documentation of serious human rights violations for the enforceability of collective rights in Chocó.
· Socio-political advocacy with the church, cooperation, human rights, and state agents.I
t is worth noting that some of the most representative emphases of the work carried out in the last five years as a contribution to the achievement of SDG16: Peace, justice, and strong institutions are the experiences carried out with women in the Colombian Pacific region where projects are implemented under the human security approach, an aspect that has allowed responding comprehensively to some of the most urgent challenges of Afro-descendant, indigenous and mestizo women in Carmen del Darien and Riosucio in the lower Chocoan Atrato (North Pacific), Tagachí and Arquía in the middle Chocoan atrato (Central Pacific) and the rural area of Tumaco (South Pacific). In this sense, actions such as those presented below have been part of this peace-building strategy with a gender equality approach that, as of June 2021, has had an impact on more than 400 women:
In relation to the work focused on equality and women, in the last 5 years, we have had pleasing results that motivate us to continue working:
· More than 500 Afro-descendant and indigenous women with leadership and community protection skills between 2015 and 2020.
· 100 male leaders trained in gender equity and generation of opportunities from equality and community protection between 2018-2019.
· 200 women from rural communities trained in entrepreneurship, innovation, and basic finance through diploma courses in agreements with a university.
· 300 women trained between May 2020 and June 2021 in environment and sustainability, entrepreneurship, finance and accounting for women’s entrepreneurship, communication for social organizations, and social innovation.
· Accompanied and equipped 24 entrepreneurship initiatives led by Afro-descendant, indigenous, and mestizo women, benefiting the economy of more than 100 households of ethnic groups in the departments of Antioquia, Chocó, and Nariño.
· Enabled 15 spaces for historical memory and collaboration for the emotional processing of 300 women victims of the armed conflict in Chocó between 2015-2020.
· Conducted diagnostics and research on the local economy, protection, serious human rights violations, etc.
· Conducted a report on the psychosocial affectations of women in Chocó in the context of the armed conflict incorporated into the Commission for the Clarification of the Truth of the armed conflict in Colombia and the Pacific Interethnic Truth Commission.
· Signed a pact of wills between the Municipal Council of the Municipality of Riosucio, Secretary of Community Development, delegates of Afro-descendant women, delegates of indigenous women, local Catholic Church for the design and monitoring of an Action Plan that contributes to a Public Policy for Women in Riosucio-Chocó between 2020-2021.
· Articulated work with local organizations, ethnic authorities, cooperation and church agents, women’s collectives and enterprises, and public institutions.
An integral approach has been considered where women’s leadership capacities are strengthened, the prevention of violence and socio-political risks in their territories, and the incentive to collaborative work through the recovery/strengthening of livelihood initiatives for women, since they have been hit in a particular way by structural factors and war; in this sense we consider that to advance towards peace and justice, it is essential to generate awareness/education around human rights, but also to facilitate concrete tools that lead to the realization of them—moving from words to deeds.
Lina Marcela Muñoz Puerta
Project and social services leader