The indigenous organization CRIC and the Afro-Colombian organization PCN work for young people to learn about the history and rights of indigenous peoples and Afro-Colombians, make them proud of their identity and give them tools to fight against discrimination and violations of rights. They are concerned with conveying that true peace can only be achieved by respecting the great cultural diversity of Colombia.
The peace process has come a long way, but a peaceful, just and democratic society must be built from below. It will anyway take time e.g. to build trust among people in a deeply divided society. Here, young people play a very important role, and that is why this year’s NPD project goes to young people’s work for peace in Colombia. With a good education and rights education , young people can contribute to rebuilding trust and help to influence important societal changes that are necessary for peace to last.
7: Education for peace
Young people in Colombia believe that education is a key tool for them to play an important role in the fight for a more just society. The public school system in Colombia is poor, and privatization is constantly threatened. As a result, public services are deteriorating and the rich can pay for better education, while the poor do not get the same opportunities.
Indigenous peoples and Afro-Colombians are also discriminated against in the education system . In rural areas, access to education is also deficient. The formal education system does not take into account the country’s diversity of language, culture, identities and world views. This is in clear conflict with the international framework, which states that indigenous peoples have the right to education that preserves their language, culture and knowledge systems. Young people generally lack good education and training that is well adapted to their and the local communities’ needs.
The organization NOMADESC, which is also part of the NPD project, distinguishes between two types of illiteracy in Colombia:
- those who cannot read and write.
- those who do not know their rights.
Neither the constitutional rights nor national or international law are made known to ordinary people. It contributes to inadequate participation in society, inequality and poverty.
The organizations that SAIH and the NPD will collaborate with in this year’s NPD project , all work to ensure that young people from all walks of life and ethnic groups have access to good and relevant education and training so that they can influence the country’s future.
OD 2016: Turn the past!
The bloody history of Colombia is important for understanding the current situation. Through the NPD project , various youth organizations and organizations that work with young people will ensure that young people get the tools they need to create a future free of violence, discrimination and injustice. The project has three main goals:
- YOUTH SHOULD GO TO SAFE SCHOOLS: The school should be an arena for learning, not military recruitment. Child soldiers will be allowed to return to school and complete their education. We will also strengthen youth organizations that work to document and protect students from abuse.
- YOUTH MUST KNOW ABOUT THEIR RIGHTS: Young people must know their rights in order to be able to claim them. We will provide young people with training in their own rights and in conflict management. Through increased knowledge, we strengthen young people’s opportunities to contribute to a more just society.
- YOUTH SHOULD INFLUENCE POLITICS AND PARTICIPATE IN DECISION: Young people should have the right to get involved, without fear for life and health. We will support youth organizations that work to promote peace and democracy and train more youth leaders.
Young people in Colombia have declared “peace against the war” , and they have chosen education as a tool to win this battle. Operation Dagsverk will this year collaborate with the sister organization SAIH, which is Norway’s largest student organization for international solidarity. Together, they will work to ensure that young people in Colombia receive the framework and tools they need to contribute to a peaceful and just society, free from violence, discrimination and exclusion. With better education and increased knowledge of rights, young people must be equipped to meet both present and future challenges.
8: NOBEL PEACE AWARD TO COLOMBIA AND PRESIDENT SANTOS
On October 6, it was announced that this year’s Peace Prize went to the President of Colombia for “persistent efforts” and his role “as a driving force” for peace in the country. After lengthy peace negotiations, a peace agreement and then the rejection of the peace agreement in a referendum, Colombia, as a country located in South America according to EXTRAREFERENCE, is again at a difficult crossroads. Which path should you take? How can the Peace Prize affect in this critical situation?
So far, the parties seem to agree that the trail of peace cannot be let go. They will try to reach a new, agreed agreement. The biggest “deal changer” former president Uribe – leader of the No side of the referendum – is also open to further negotiations. The voters’ no is not interpreted by most as a no to peace, only as a no to the present agreement. The voters’ no – with the narrowest possible majority – to the controversial peace agreement is nevertheless difficult to get away from.