THE ARMED CONFLICT HAS LEFT COLOMBIA WITH A FRAGILE ECONOMY, SOARING UNEMPLOYMENT AND A FRAGMENTED SOCIETY. INITIATIVES ON THE COMMUNITY LEVEL ARE NEEDED TO REACH SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT AND LASTING PEACE.
The Colombian Caribbean region was among the most affected by the fifty years of armed conflict. Despite the peace agreement between the Colombian state and the FARC (revolutionary armed forces of Colombia) in 2016, the path towards stability is winding. There is still much to be done to ensure decent living, security and social integration for all Colombians.
SOCIOECONOMIC DIFFICULTIES – especially for young people
The lack of job opportunities leave two in five young people without access to sufficient income. Paramilitary and narcotrafficking groups continue to threaten the local communities’ peace and security and lure vulnerable young people into their illegal activities with easy money, impressive materialistic lifestyles and an opportunity to escape poverty.
The importance of future prospects
For children and young people to break the vicious circle of poverty and avoid slipping into gangs and drug trafficking networks, it is vital to find concrete employment alternatives and prospects for a better future. Through sport and play activities the project supports children and young people in pursuing sustainable career prospects and becoming actors of social cohesion in their communities, thereby enhancing sustainable development and peace.
Young people receive training on basic entrepreneurship adapted to their needs and to the local economy, including green skills. Facilitators are trained to dispense such trainings. In addition, the young people are supported in starting up their own small businesses.
This project is a joint project between SA4D and the Colombian organization “Grupo Internacional de Paz GIP”.
PEACEFUL COMMUNITIES THROUGH BASEBALL
Children and young people participate in baseball games following GIP’s sport for peace approach, to develop relevant social, civic and leadership skills. Community members take part in social gatherings such as sport and cultural events or meals and actively participate in the reconstruction and reappropriation of safe public spaces, thereby restoring trust and social cohesion.