"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.