|Peacebuilding en las Américas - Report on work in 2010|
|Written by Val Liveoak|
|Tuesday, 14 December 2010 15:05|
This year saw growth of Peacebuilding en las Américas (PLA) programs in Latin America in both the number of Alternatives to Violence Project (AVP) workshops given and in the number of partner groups with whom we worked.
The biggest growth was in Honduras, where in this, our first year, we partnered with three groups.
Our most effective partner is Tejedoras de Sueños (Dream Weavers) a group in San Pedro Sula, the country’s second largest city, and nearby El Progreso. Working with women, most of them living in poverty, this group has a credit union, a small cooperative store, and many campaigns including those for women’s health (they did a free pap smear clinic in May) and against femicide, the targeted murders of women, and other domestic violence. They participate in the Women in Resistance movement that forms one of the pillars of nonviolent resistance to the coup government and opposition to the government that followed it. This year there have been 7 Basic, 3 Advanced (including one Community-based Trauma Healing) and 1 Training for Facilitator workshops, and there are 10 active facilitators.
We also worked with Franciscan Sisters in Gracias, Lempira, and with Caritas of the Diocese of Santa Rosa de Copan, doing one AVP Basic workshop in Gracias.
In El Salvador, we continued our partnership with the Centro Arte para la Paz in Suchitoto, training 5 more AVP facilitators, and have held 4 workshops in nearby villages. We also did 2 Basic workshops in other communities in association with Crispaz, a community service organization. We hosted 2 facilitator meetings and a day of continuing education in physical trauma healing techniques for the Salvadoran facilitators. We made contacts with the Friends Church and with Emanuel Baptist Church in San Salvador, and did sample workshops with each—a Basic workshop with youth from the Friends Church is scheduled for January.
Additionally we held a 6 day training for facilitators of the Community-based Trauma Healing) workshops that we helped develop in Colombia, attended by 11 facilitators from 6 countries (7 if a Guatemala-based facilitator’s native New Zealand is counted.)
In Guatemala, our partner CEDEPCA has held 4 AVP workshops this year. Also a Guatemalan was trained as an AVP facilitator in El Salvador.
In the first week in November, CEDEPCA co-sponsored a Community-based Trauma Healing workshop with two Guatemalan and one Guatemala-based facilitator co-leading.
In addition, a facilitator from New Zealand who resides in Guatemala held 2 Basic workshops which we co-sponsored along with Quaker Peace and Service in New Zealand. She has focused on inviting participants from groups other than those associated with CEDEPCA, including staff and beneficiaries of the Quaker scholarship program, Progresa. She is in the process of applying to become the volunteer coordinator of AVP in Guatemala for the next two years.
In Nicaragua, we were unable to do workshops this year, but had meetings with several facilitators who want to continue working toward a national AVP organization, and who requested continuing education for current facilitators, of whom there are an estimated 15-20. We plan to hold this workshop early next year.
In Colombia, PLA supported AVP and Community-based Trauma Healing workshops in the northern coast in the city of Montería and Department (State) of Córdoba. The AVP team there has co-led 12 workshops, of which 2 were Community-based Trauma Healing workshops, and one Training of Facilitators for Community-based Trauma Healing. 5 workshops have been held in the Las Mercedes Federal Prison, where the Sub-Director wants all of the 1,200 prisoners and staff to have the opportunity to take AVP and Community-based Trauma Healing workshops.
The Bogotá based coordinating team continued to do outreach to groups in the Capital as well as in four other areas of the country. Next year, PLA plans to co-sponsor workshops in Barranquilla, Palmira, Valle (near Medellín), in the State prison in Florencia, the northern coast, and other areas..
With support from PLA, the AVP International Gathering (IG) is being planned for Antigua Guatemala in 2011. In all the countries in which we are working, we are planning to host pre- and post-Gathering workshops, many in Community-based Trauma Healing. We hope the IG will provide the impetus for networking among AVP programs in Latin America, which might significantly increase interest in PLA’s work. We especially look forward to an opportunity for African HROC (Healing and Rebuilding Our Communities) and Indonesian facilitators of Community-based Trauma Healing programs to exchange experience and activities. This will be the first time that workers in all the programs of Community-based Trauma Healing projects of FPT will be able to compare their work.
|Last Updated on Monday, 20 December 2010 10:17|