Train 4.000 colombian children in peace building.

May 27, 2014

Dreaming is a right campaing last year experiences

Youth Communications and Participation Seminar
Youth Communications and Participation Seminar

Dreaming is a Right Campaign

What we did

The Dreaming is a Right Campaign succeeded in raising awareness amongst world citizens about the problem of the recruitment of children and young people, victims of Colombia’s violence, making visible to the general public concrete tools so that they too can be peace builders and true agents of change.

Through this proposal of prevention, training and mobilization, which also sought to influence the public policies of the municipalities participating in the Campaign, youth processes were strengthened.  The abilities of those living in high risk zones were increased and the threat of recruitment and other types of violence effectively lowered.

The Campaign joined World Peace Day, the National Day of 0 Violent Deaths and the International Day Against the Use of Child Soldiers to carry our mobilization events for causes that raise awareness about the culture of peace and nonviolence.

Achievements in 2013

1,933 people participated in 298 peace training processes

More than 50 thousand citizens interacted through social networks and the web page

26 Peace Conferences, promoting Human Rights, with a focus on the prevention of the recruitment of children, adolescents and young people were held in the 23 municipalities where the project was present.

88 events that socialized the community about the Campaign’s experiences and lessons learned were held.

148 youth groups were part of Dreaming is a Right.

248 allies and 3,500 families participated in the local support network in 23 municipalities.

4,300 children, adolescents, and young people were indirectly impacted.

Where did we build peace?

  • The Department, Antioquia, the municipalities Tarazá San Andrés de Cuerquia, Medellín, San Carlos, San Luis, San Francisco, Cocorná, Granada, Yarumal, Toledo and Ituango.
  • The Department Nariño, municipalities Ipiales and Paso.
  • The Department Sucre, municipalities San Jacinto, Arjona and San Onofre
  • The Department Bolívar, municipalitas Cartagena and Carmen de Bolívar

Who helped us?

One of the main 2013 highlights in the development of Dreaming is a Right was the construction of a network of allies made up of 248 actors from 23 municipalities who participated in the Campaign.

On the national level, the campaign succeeded in consolidating the first network of official entities and civil society organizations working for the Prevention of Recruitment and Use of minors made up of 11 important entities: the Vice President of the Republic , Ministries of Culture and Education, the Colombian Institute of Family Wellbeing (ICBF), the Colombian Agency for Reintegration (ACR), the Ombudsman, the Foundation Antonio Restrepo Barco, the Agency of Journalism PANDI, the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), the World Bank and the International Organization of Migration. 


Mar 25, 2014

Visions of Change: another peace building proposal

Visions of Change contributes towards the empowerment of children, teenagers and youths in their territory, and within a context of good citizenship and peaceful coexistence to lead on actions that will transform the city through art and innovation.

This initiative is part of the training component of the World Urban Forum 7 - UN-Habitat and it´s campaing ´Im a City Changer´. It´s being developed with the participation of 600 youths from the municipality of Medellín, department of Antioquia, who are creating and implementing "change actions" with an urbanistic and an entrepreneurship perspective.

As a way to document the visions of change through out this process, the youths wrote a manifest in which they set out a critical view about how to transform the problems of the city into creative, sustainable and peaceful solutions.


Click here ( to learn more about the "Change actions" and to inspire yourself to create your own!




Sep 18, 2013

Sonar es un Derecho

Soñar es un Derecho 

El programa Educación para la Paz de la Fundación Mi Sangre viene realizando este año la campaña Soñar es un Derecho, que pretende movilizar, formar y visibilizar a los grupos artísticos y líderes juveniles de Antioquia, Valle del Cauca, Sucre, Bolívar, Meta y Nariño con el objetivo de fortalecer sus propuestas, aumentar sus capacidades de liderazgo, y de generar una defensa contra el riesgo de reclutamiento y las amenazas violentas en su territorio.

En agosto, esta campaña desarrolló con periodistas, docentes y fuentes de información el encuentro “El periodismo responsable, factor determinante en la prevención del reclutamiento forzado de la niñez en Colombia”; y posteriormente, reunió a jóvenes de 21 municipios del país en el “Seminario de Participación y Comunicación Juvenil”. Estas dos actividades formativas de Soñar es un Derecho promovieron prácticas de comunicación críticas, creativas, con un sentido educativo y sobre todo comprometidas con la construcción de paz en Colombia.

La campaña Soñar es un Derecho es una estrategia de movilización social liderada por la Fundación Mi Sangre y apoyada por instituciones del gobierno nacional –como la Vicepresidencia de la República, los Ministerios de Educación y Cultura, el Instituto Colombiano de Bienestar Familiar (ICBF), la Agencia Colombiana para la Reintegración (ACR) y la Defensoria del Pueblo-, de la sociedad civil como la fundación Antonio Restrepo Barco y de la cooperación internacional – como la Agencia de los Estados Unidos para el Desarrollo Internacional (USAID), El Banco Mundial, y la Organización Internacional para las Migraciones (OIM).


Soñar es un Derecho (To Dream is a Right)

The Educación for Peace program from Fundación Mi Sangre, has been developing this year the Soñar es un Derecho campaign, which pretends to mobilize, educate and show the artistic groups and  the young leaders of Antioquia, Valle del Cauca, Sucre, Bolívar, Meta y Nariño. The objective of these dreamy campaign points to reinforce the youth proposals and their leadership capacities to create a defense against the recruitment risk and the violent threats in their territory.

In august, "Soñar es un Derecho" invited journalists, teachers and information sources to the event “Responsible journalism, a determinant factor in the prevention of forced childhood recruitment in Colombia”. Afterwards, the campaign gathered youths from 21 municipalities of the country in the “Youthful participation and communication seminary”. These formative activities promoted critical, creative and educational communication practices as a way to contribute to the peace construction process in Colombia.

The "Soñar es un Derecho" campaing is a social mobilization strategy leaded by the Fundación Mi Sangre and supported by nacional governmental institutes –as the Vice-presidency of the Republic, the Education and Culture Ministries, the Instituto Colombiano de Bienestar Familiar (ICBF), the Agencia Colombiana para la Reintegración (ACR) and the Defensoría del Pueblo-, also by the Antonio Restrepo Barco foundation and International Cooperation institutes like the United States Agency for the International Development  (USAID), the Banco Mundial and the Organización Internacional para las Migraciones (OIM). 




Jun 19, 2013

PAZalobien teaches children from Valdivia

"The creation of silhouettes has been one of the activities, based on the positions deemed as the most comfortable by each boy and girl. Thus, participants identified, painted and decorated parts of their bodies in the way they wanted," as stated by Adrian Garcia, facilitator of Entorno a mí.
- The Educación para la Paz (Education for Peace) Program and its PAZalobien methodology have spread significantly in 2013.
-Valdivia, a municipality in the northwest of Colombia is co-creating Entorno a mí, project aimed at the building of peace.

The road to Valdivia connects the capital of the Department of Antioquia, Medellin, with Colombia's Atlantic Coast.  On the way you will travel through high mountains and large and powerful rivers loom.  This is the same road that connects the center of Colombia with important commercial ports such as Cartagena, but it is also a route with localities affected by violent groups.
This town embedded in the mountains of northern Antioquia has survived the hardships and cruelty of war.  However, its people are currently working, with the support of Antioquia's Governor Office and Mi Sangre Foundation, to heal wounds and resolve their conflicts peacefully.
Within this framework, two educational institutions, one located in the municipality of Valdivia and the other located in the district of Puerto Valdivia, this year received the arrival of PAZalobien -a methodology that seeks to develop civic skills and enhance children and young people's creativity, by means of art and games-, through the Entorno a mí project.
"So far, a total of 1,686 children, adolescents, young people, teachers and adults directly or indirectly affected by violence have benefited from the project," as stated by Robinson Bustamante, coordinator of the Educación para la Paz program of Mi Sangre Foundation, which gives rise to the PAZalobien methodology.
An example to illustrate the dynamics of this project took place on the morning of Tuesday May 28, 2013 where 26 third-grade children of Valdivia Educational Institution conducted a meeting with the body as the leading subject.
The exercise aimed at the recognition of the body, based on a previous work about its parts and uses. Thus, children created their own silhouette, in the most comfortable position for them, and then they pointed out their body parts that they liked the most and the ones they did not like as much. Later, they proceeded to decorate these parts as they wanted.
"This series of meetings are the result of the co-creation process between the facilitator of the PAZalobien methodology and the teacher who supports these children's educational process daily," as explained by Adrian Garcia, the facilitator of Mi Sangre Foundation.
"One of the most significant breakthroughs we have achieved by formulating Entorno a mí was being able to work not only at the bedside of Valdivia, but also to project this work to the countryside and district of Puerto Valdivia, which will facilitate the co-creation with more teachers, based on the PAZalobien methodology, thus generating higher protective environments," as stated by Robinson Bustamante.
Valdivia's women have also had their own space. On Tuesday, 7 May 2013, Entorno a mí  was with them. As described by the facilitator Adrian Garcia, women gathered and danced all together in a circle. They thanked life, recreated a day of their daily lives, and played a children's round to tell stories that updated moments of their existence. These stories allowed some of them to smile, while others grieved their losses.
However, at the end of the activity, hope would have been present in the tree of wishes, made of paper and posted on the wall to allow these 30 women to write the dreams that keep them alive on colored sheets. These dreams were glued to the tree as a symbol of the co-creation of all of the project's participants.
"It has been very well accepted by the community. We have achieved this in collaboration with the Municipal Administration and the management of the educational institutions, but also based on the day-to-day relations with the community. We have been able to generate expectations of a different and creative process, where Valdivia's people play a key role to allow this project to become a reality", as concluded by the Coordinator of Educación para la Paz.


Mar 20, 2013

Family: friendly and protective environment

"I wanted to get involved with a group, but a dance group. My friends told me to go with them to illegal groups, because they were offering wages and weapons training. I did not do it. Today, thanks to these recreational spaces, I work strongly training in dance and also preventing other children to join neither gangs nor illegal armed groups.” Testimony of beneficiary child.


  • Illegal recruitment of underage children for use in armed conflict is a crime in Colombia punished by International Humanitarian Law. However, this problem has found a paved way in households where children suffer domestic violence.

In Colombia, violence against children is a serious problem and even if the media recorded permanently new cases making visible the efforts of society and the State to protect the rights and lives of the population, these not appear to be sufficient and figures are still on the rise.

From the Mi Sangre Foundation we have worked with the plausible aim to generate protective and friendly environments that allow the new generations to exercise their powers as peace builders. In this search we have been generating public awareness and mass use of specific calls to action for society in general.

Today we have been leading a campaign of mobilization and prevention of recruitment and use of underage children. Various public and private agents are part of this initiative: Institutions of the national Government - as the Vice-Presidency of the Republic, the Ministries of Education and Culture, the Colombian Institute of Family Welfare (ICBF), the Colombian Agency for Reintegration (ACR) and the Advocacy of the Nation – The civil society such as Antonio Restrepo Barco Foundation and the Norwegian Refugee Council - and the international cooperation - as the United States Agency for international development (USAID)The World Bank, UNICEF and the International Organization for Migration (IOM).

Sadly, the factors favoring violence against children and young people include domestic violence. These conflicts are generated by economic difficulties, consumption of drugs and alcohol by parents, and inconsistency between the rules they teach to their children and the ones they apply to themselves. These situations generate scenarios for psychological punishment, physical abuse, child labor since many of these children have to work to bring a living to their home, and in some cases, it arises commercial sexual exploitation by their own parents. 

All of these situations, bearing in mind that Colombia is a country with an armed conflict that lasts for more than 50 years and where the child has become a victim of illegal recruitment, forces some children to seek alternative life, away from their homes, making them vulnerable to other scenarios of violence either in armed groups or gangs in urban areas.

83% of children and youngsters who have been in armed groups were victims of domestic violence; this figure confirms that the key reason for children being victims of recruitment by armed groups is their own family.

"Any child with lack of affection at home is vulnerable to join armed groups or gangs, whether in the countryside or in the city. Love at home heals everything, as parents we must support and listen to our children for them not to make the wrong decisions."

Juanes, artist and founder of Mi Sangre Foundation.

Protecting is the responsibility of all. You can build protective environments in your family... above we give you some recommendations.


  • We always have to be alert with what our children are doing. Know what, where and with who our children are. Signals that they have money or new things without explanation must be warnings for us to find out help in family, community and institutional support networks so that we will prevent our children to go to armed groups.


  • Armed groups employ increasingly novel strategies of “seduction” offering clothing, cell phones, money, video games etc.


  • We have to be very creative in raising our children. Give them love, care, prevent risks are protective factors against this problem.


"To dream is a right" campaign extends this invitation to society in general to link to this strategy, and to public entities so that they prioritize in their agendas the matters of child protection and prevention of recruitment.


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Project Leader

Estefanía Piedrahita

Social Communicator
Medellin, Antioquia Colombia

Where is this project located?

Map of Train 4.000 colombian children in peace building.