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 Multipropósito 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 Blandón. 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. 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. 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 así redes de cooperación que en medio de un mundo donde el mantra es “Sálvese quien pueda, cómo pueda”, re-afirma la necesidad de proponer una cultura de paz que tiene la cooperación entre pares como núcleo 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).
Artículo elaborado por Víctor Esteban Valencia Quintero