Colombia signs a peace treaty

Colombians are celebrating the signing of a ceasefire by the government and the FARC rebel movement, which ended 50 years of civil war.

In the capital, Bogota, people took to the streets, hugging each other and singing the national anthem. The announcement is seen as one of the last steps before a full peace deal is signed, which is expected within weeks.

The longest-running insurgency in the Western hemisphere left some 220,000 people dead and millions displaced.

But the million dollars question is:

What’s Next?

Luckily enough, our MasterPeace Club of Colombia was already advancing with their work on peace transformation and building fronts involving most vulnerable groups in the new phases of MasterPeace.

Peace Neighborhoods or Barrios de Paz, a project by MasterPeace Colombia enters its 4th phase in the Soledad’s community (Caribbean region of Colombia) with the historic peace agreement between the Colombian government and the FARC, ending the world’s longest running war.

Nowadays, the government is focusing on providing new models of reconciliation; MasterPeace Colombia is already in action!

Peace Neighborhoods project started in 2014, when MasterPeace Colombia identified that the shortest way to peaceful Colombia, starts with peaceful barrios, which is safe neighborhood! The clubs started working on a project that aims to create a peace culture amongst youth in vulnerable and conflict sensitive areas in large cities.

The project is centered on social intervention and the theories of the Dutch social psychologist Hofstede on cultural change, which methodologically uses art to eliminate violence, by getting young people involved in art projects instead of lingering around the streets engaging in gang violence. The program includes paint and citizens co-creation workshops, theater plays, and storytelling presentation and talents performances of the neighborhood.
Joining the program, young people who are usually gang members need to promise two things: 1- not to be engaged in violence actions during the program time 2- attend all sessions, if one member was proven involved in any violence the program gets canceled for the whole neighborhood, and that to create monitoring and accountability within everyone.

After 2 years in the program, some of the participants became professional artists and are now working to produce a short film about the community, their transformation and the project.
To channel their new acquired skills and sustain the project, the participants in collaboration with MasterPeace Club of Colombia started a small company gathering all art entrepreneurs under its umbrella and are starting their first pilot project.

On the other hand, MasterPeace Colombia is now preparing to scale up the project into in the new Barrio of the Ciudad Bolivar in Bogota; updating the materials in light of the of the new peace agreement with the Farc.