Multipropaz in May 2022

The purpose of this article is to present the actions carried out by the project "Girls, boys and young peace buildersThe purpose of this article is to present the actions carried out by the project "Girls, boys and young peace builders" during the month of May. The project is nourished thanks to the commitment of students, trainers, donors, but especially, of a mantra of almost 20 years of experience working the culture of peace with students of the school MultipropĆ³sito de la Comuna 20 in Santiago de Cali.

The document describes what was executed, achieved, and reflected on during each action carried out this month. First, we will talk about what was done in the spaces for participation; later, we will show cross-cutting actions to the workshops that allow the project to function and strengthen the support networks with the school and other actors in the context of Comuna 20.

Training spaces for a culture of peace: Multipropaz, a dream where everyone has a place

So far this year, we have been working hard on the training of the facilitators, in the peace seedbed for sixth and seventh grades and in the Multiecopaz space. In the month of June the Peace Communicators space will start, which already had a small beginning with the training in school radio station conducted by the trainer Cristopher BlandĆ³n.Ā  Regardless of the situation, we have tried to comply with the boys and girls who participate in each space, since their commitment to arrive early to school against the school day or to stay after school has always been present, and in every school hallway where we are they usually ask us: "Is there Multipropaz today, tomorrow do we have to stay? It is a pact of word with them, with this tradition that Multipropaz already has of awakening in its young students the desire to go beyond and break with the stigma that one only goes to school to "get good grades". They inhabit it, live it, share it, sweat it, enjoy it and deconstruct it to become new beings eager to change their worlds and the world of those around them.

Training of facilitators

For the formation of the group of facilitators this month, the effort was focused on allowing them to live a series of workshops that allow them to have tools to resolve conflicts in a personal level but also in a collective scenario that the school urgently demands. Ā In these workshops they elaborated activities of the communicative potential and the creative potential for conflict resolution. Each activity confronted them with themselves and allowed them to reflect on the role of conflict in their lives and how communication, whether verbal or nonverbal, affects their daily relationships and their ties with themselves and their environment. We had as a great support in these workshops, the teacher Alix Valoyes, who took a space from her roles as a teacher of mathematics, physics and audiovisuals, to transmit in a pedagogical way all her knowledge about conflict mediation to the facilitators.Ā Thanks to this intervention with this group, they are now able to support the coordinators of both days to resolve conflicts that arise in the school; although some already did it empirically and intuitively, taking into account what they learned and processed with these workshops, their interventions mediating conflicts will be more efficient and complete.
On the other hand, during the training days for the facilitators, as a complementary activity to the process of internal tranquility that we want the facilitators to begin to have, we were able to create a space for meditation with the teachers Oscar and German from URBACAM. Thanks to the efforts of teacher Alix, every Wednesday of the month they visited us and took the children on a journey into their inner selves. At the beginning it was complex for most of them, but they all achieved positive results as the weeks went by. Their explanations were very patient and full of love for what they hope we can all achieve: "To put the mind in white to find our own selves".

Multiecopaz training space

During this month in the Multiecopaz space, the 3 axes on which the process will revolve were clarified: eco-design, food sovereignty and awareness raising by multiplying the experience. Making these differences and clarifying these axes of work, allows the participants of the space to define in which area they feel more comfortable, since very different skills are needed in each of the axes. In addition to reminding them that the idea is not only to have beautiful spaces, producing food or medicines and actively recycling, because if we do not consider this as a process to transform society towards a culture of peace and balance with the environment, we would only be gardening or plastic arts workshops with recyclable materials. It has been very important to emphasize this ESSENCE of the process to the participants.

With the support of Nathalia Gamboa, monitor of the projects proposed by Univalle students in the environmental management course that had the Multiecopaz space as a proposal laboratory, the projects developed by Univalle students that were strengthened by Multiecopaz participants are being implemented little by little. This month, we worked on the proposal of vertical vegetable gardens, explaining how to build them and what materials we need to make them. We also reactivated the recycling delivery of a processing company, allowing the children to see the fruit of waste separation.

We have also emphasized the need to return to the process of making eco-bottles to reduce the arrival of non-recyclable plastics in the final garbage deposit and the importance of the care/use/separation of the recycling boxes that have been delivered to the classrooms.

Cross-cutting actions for training workshops

Sin duda Multipropaz necesita siempre del apoyo de actores externos que a su vez se benefician de las acciones de Multipropaz, generando asĆ­ redes de cooperaciĆ³n que en medio de un mundo donde el mantra es ā€œSĆ”lvese quien pueda, cĆ³mo puedaā€, re-afirma la necesidad de proponer una cultura de paz que tiene la cooperaciĆ³n entre pares como nĆŗcleo central. Para esto procuramos genera acciones transversales que permiten el funcionamiento del proyecto y fortalecen las redes de apoyo con el colegio y otros actores del contexto de la Comuna 20.

An example of this is how we coordinate with members of general services and the coordinators of the Multipurpose School to guarantee adequate work spaces for the workshops. Also, the cooperation that is being provided in the school restaurant has allowed us to provide lunch for the children who stay in the workshops in the afternoon or who were in the workshop in the morning and need lunch to be in the best shape for their afternoon classes. We need to strengthen cooperation much more on issues such as recycling -which has somewhat failed so far- and establish roles for students to work in coordination with the members of general services and properly separate waste in the classrooms and finally in the collection center. It is a constant learning process that teaches us that community networks in the school must be strengthened on a daily basis, as this is the only way to generate permanent habits that allow initiatives to flow and not leave all the responsibility on one of the parties (which is what has been happening to a certain extent with teacher Alix).

ArtĆ­culo elaborado por VĆ­ctor Esteban Valencia Quintero

La Huerta SoƱada šŸƒšŸŒŽšŸŒ±

The Urban Research Laboratory together with Multipropaz were in charge of carrying out an activity around the school vegetable garden of the InstituciĆ³n Educativa MultipropĆ³sito School, to recognize its importance and identify how students imagine their dream vegetable garden. As part of this activity, the following tasks were carried out:

  • šŸŒ±A seedbed was made with recycled materials, egg honeycombs, and toilet paper rolls.
  • šŸŒ±Cilantro was planted.
  • šŸŒ±Soil PH was evaluated in a homemade way with bicarbonate and vinegar.
  • šŸŒ±A recycling delivery activity was carried out at FundaciĆ³n Ciclos, generating a recycling system.

Multipropaz and Univalle for the Environment

Multipropaz, in partnership with engineering students from the Universidad del Valle, is implementing an environmental management project that includes different proposals, among them:

šŸŒ±Vertical vegetable gardens: seeks a sustainable development scenario through the implementation of vertical vegetable gardens that allow water to be reused and less of this resource to be used.

šŸŒ±Composting: this technique will be used to generate a natural fertilizer. This compost will be generated using organic waste from the sector or from the same school where the project is being developed. With this we seek to give a better management to the organic waste and also to find a way to mitigate the costs to maintain the garden.

šŸŒ±Ecodesign: its objective is to prioritize the use of recycling and through it produce instruments for the maintenance of the crop.

Multipropaz: A place where it is worth dreaming together

Multipropaz continues to maintain its commitment to promote active participation and peaceful coexistence with children, teenagers, adults, women heads of households and/or community leaders, from spaces created from their own interests and the cross-cutting projects of the schools, in which human potentials are strengthened and life skills are developed. This is confirmed by a wide range of activities, meetings, outings and hundreds of lessons learned during the past year, which left great lessons and reaffirmed the work through the construction of a culture of peace and the improvement of coexistence.

This year's achievements are a record of the hard but exciting work of the Foundation, the result of the experience, the achievement of the objectives, and the commitment of each of the actors that make its actions possible. However, there is something that can hardly be represented statistically, through a graph or with numbers: the passion that unites a group of people, the feeling of a community, the desire to contribute positively to the life of others, and the commitment to peaceful coexistence.

The beginning of the year showed hope with a large number of enrolments, but at the same time, it also marked challenges with a quarantine that distanced all the actors. The COVID-19 pandemic unleashed a health, humanitarian and socioeconomic crisis that aggravated the situation of many social actors, limiting the exercise of the foundation and imposing new challenges. The country's social problems were added to this, triggering violent demonstrations at the end of May due to the national strike, a turbulent time in which the concern for a virus that added daily figures of deaths and contagions worldwide, remained in the background, as the discontent of many took over the front pages of the country's newspapers and newscasts. A time of fear, stained with massacres and disappearances, but at the same time of hope and courage to continue working for those spaces of peace and coexistence.

As in the year 2020 the protagonist was the digital and online connectivity, this year imposed new challenges. It was the year that made the Foundation adapt in a sudden and unprecedented way, as it exposed the condition of humanity and fragility. After five months of virtual sessions, where spaces for reflection, support and counseling were offered, the foundation managed to maintain its objective through intense activity and adapting more and more to the new circumstances. Returning to school in August became magical. To see again the posters, the messages, the essence captured on the walls where the community gathered again, was a reward for the effort to overcome obstacles, to join efforts and above all to continue building peace from the virtual world.

On December 10, the closing of the year 2021 took place, a year of lessons, beautiful experiences, recognitions and commitments to the Foundation's mission, the community. For the current year there are great challenges ahead: first, to continue with the formation of the group of Dynamizers, a group created with the objective of being multipliers of the experience of the workshops, with the capacity to solve conceptual challenges and to potentiate the abilities of each one as a social actor. Second, the reconstruction of the School Garden Project with the support of the Universidad del Valle and the help of Professor Adriana LĆ³pez. Themes have been put on the table from Ecodesign, vertical gardens and recycling work with the collection centers. The third challenge is to promote leadership workshops with the facilitators and strengthen the relationship with the other branches, through a more direct presence in the primary branches such as Santa Luisa, Gonzalez Rubio and Panama.

By Diana Ramirez based on reports by Victor Valencia and Dahiana Mosquera.

You can check our whole 2021 report (Spanish).

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, studentsā€™ excitement to be part of each of Multipropazā€™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 MultipropĆ³sito 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 YatacuƩ, 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 EdumetrĆ­a 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 MultipropĆ³sito 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.

JosƩ Luis Angulo

Thank you incowia GmbH

incowia GmbHĀ 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 MultipropĆ³sito 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 incowiaĀ click here to visit their website.