Intergenerational Dialogue in Colombia
After more than 50 years of armed conflict in Colombia, there is a deep legacy of violence. This violence killed more than 220,000 people, displaced over 7 million, and created over half a million refugees.
In November 2016, the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) and the Colombian government signed a ratified peace deal, marking a formal end to the armed conflict.
This historic moment brought with it hope for the people of Colombia, and new responsibilities for GPPAC and its peace network. In order to achieve a truly stable and lasting peace, a holistic cultural transformation is required to overcome a deeply rooted culture of violence.
This process involves many complex risks. Youth in marginalised regions are particularly vulnerable to being drawn into the criminal activities of, for instance, drug traffickers, criminal bands, and guerrillas. Poverty, inequality, unemployment, and a severe lack of opportunities in these regions all contribute to deepening the problem.
Colombian youth have been unenthusiastic about political participation. To move from a culture of violence to one of peace, the inclusion of youth is essential to learn from past generations, as well as the country's history.
In 2017, La Paz Querida and GPPAC launched a project on Intergenerational Dialogue for a Peace Culture in Colombia.* It aims to promote intergenerational dialogue in building a culture of peace in Colombia, and to empower Colombian youth to participate in influencing policy at a national level. Ultimately, the project seeks to reconstruct the social fabric, especially in the most affected regions of Colombia.
Through this project, intergenerational dialogue will take place in 15 municipalities particularly affected by violence. Ideally, in each selected municipality a dialogue takes place in the largest public school, including the participation of: i) students from the two last years of high school; ii) teachers; iii) parents; and iv) members of regional social organisations, and civil society organisations.
*This project is funded by IfA (Institute for Foreign Relations) with resources provided by the German Federal Foreign Office.