Closing the year together: breaking the gaps of the confinement and building peace

In a year full of uncertainties and a lot of despair, Multipropaz tried to do its bit to build community and school peace. Our year started with a lot of emotion. We had some massive registrations, with the support of the students that accompanied us during 2019. We had great expectations, students’ excitement to be part of each of Multipropaz’s projects was evident and we were convinced that it would be a year full of many meetings, activities and learning. We never imagined what would happen. The quarantine began and extended to a point that led us to feel desperate at certain times when we thought that Multipropaz would not be able to continue accompanying the Multipropósito School students. A tangible physical and emotional accompaniment for them, as well as for those who make Multipropaz possible, was not possible anymore. However, this experience allowed us to learn more and more from the students, who are full of talent and many, many dreams. The gap was big and worrying.

With this scenario, a group of 3 people decided to join forces again and start contacting the students again in June. Alix Valoyes, Jose Luis Angulo and Edwin Gamboa, founders and directors of Multipropaz, decided to encourage the facilitators of Multipropaz, Victor Valencia and Jonathan Yatacué, to call the students who registered at the beginning of the year one by one. The process of communicating with them was complex, but with the help of teacher Alix we obtained updated databases of the students.

This allowed us to feel a little closer to them. We created the group chats and started the virtual workshops, which began in August. During the workshops we worked in alliance with Edumetría to strengthen the life project of children in the tenth and eleventh grades. We continue supporting the traditional projects MultiEcopaz, Semilleros de Paz and Comunicadores de Paz. After 5 months of virtual sessions, finally on Friday, December 18, we were able to have a personal and face-to-face meeting with the students. The objective of this day was to acknowledge the most active, interested and participative students. We met them in small groups of maximum 8 people, and thanks to the support of the Multipropósito School Coordinator Juan Angel Romero - who has always supported and feels like another member of Multipropaz - we were able to have the facilities of the school.

Returning to the school for both the students and Multipropaz members was magical. Seeing our billboards, our messages, our essence embodied in the walls of the school reminded us that it has been worth all the effort to launch the adventure of building peace from the virtual. In this meeting, we had the support of a person who has dedicated part of his life to Multipropaz. She is Dayana Mosquera, who along with Jose Luis Angulo (Founder-active member) and Victor Valencia, we received the children and some parents, who reflected their appreciation and commitment to continue with this community and school process of building collective peace from ecological, communication, audiovisual and thinking life projects full of resilience and love for their environment.

Victor Valencia, Alix Valoyes

Multipropaz a scenario of social transformation

Multipropaz means a scenario of social transformation for many young people in Cali, Colombia, whose realities are connoted in imminent acts of violence. From my experience as a multiplier of the process for 18 years, I can describe it as significant because it became a path of great learning that covered all aspects of my life: personal, family and community. Like many young people, I arrived at these spaces from a position of participant and found a constructive place where I was listened to and which, finally, permeated my way of thinking and perceiving life. Today, as part of the board of directors and president, I am convinced that young people from difficult social contexts require this type of space where, in addition to finding positive messages, they can also acquire new skills and discover tools that allow them to develop as active, participatory and democratic subjects that positively impact their environments, resignifying their realities and building a life project: a space to dream again.

However, as a foundation, the process has not been easy, and we never expected it to be. We have lived through stages and obstacles that we have managed to overcome because the love for serving and helping those who are our pillar and motivation has been greater: the children and youth of Cali's commune 20. We consider that our great contribution, in spite of the difficulties for resources and human personnel, has been the formation in Culture of Peace, whose success has been based on offering multiple spaces of expression through the ecological, artistic, the communicative, the audio-visual and the educational aspect. That is why it becomes an enriching program, because in Multipropaz children and young people find different ways to learn, be and express their thoughts. The truth is that the Foundation for Participation and Coexistence Multipropaz has been "a dream where everyone fits." As a foundation, we know that the impact can be even greater, and our great purpose is to reach more institutions in the city, so that more young people have the support of professionals that allow them to resign their lives and be resilient in the face of adversity.

José Luis Angulo

Thank you incowia GmbH

incowia GmbH is a software development company located in Ilmenau in Germany, and became a great ally of our foundation in 2019. Since that moment incowia made a yearly donation which has been of great benefit to the main actors involved in the process: the children and youth of Comuna 20, one of the most vulnerable areas of Cali Colombia. Thanks to his contributions, it was possible to continue with the formation process which, for the community, is of great importance because what has been learned has resulted in the construction of ethical, active and democratic individuals. In this context, the work has focused on impacting not only the children and youth, but also the teachers of the Multipropósito School, as well as the parents and community leaders of the city of Cali, with whom we have joined efforts to achieve the proposed goal, where the participants are our greatest motivation. However, without their help, it would not be possible to assist the more than 350 students who, to date, have been active subjects of the program. Among the investments made, we highlight the support and accompaniment of a group of facilitators, whose continuity has been possible thanks to the contributions received from their donations. Thanks to this, we have had the constant and permanent presence of workshop leaders who can handle the themes and components, which were one of our greatest difficulties due to resource problems. In addition, we were able to afford to publish our foundation's website.
Also, it was possible to cover the costs of refreshments, educational outings and materials for the development of the activities. In this way, we were able to make our training processes an oxygenated and dynamic learning scenario, which involved our young people. The above has been reflected in the interest of the program participants to continue and, at the same time, change the daily practices to which they were accustomed (due to the complex reality they live in their social contexts) for others in which healthy coexistence and active participation for the transformation of their territories prevails. A summary of our work during the last year can be seen online. If you want to know more about incowia click here to visit their website.