ABOUT AGAPE |
AGAPE FOR COLOMBIA IS A NON-PROFIT ORGANIZATION RUN BY VOLUNTEERS.
Our goal is to strengthen the social fabric through reconciliation gatherings conducted in presence of victims of the armed conflict, former combatants and members of civil society in search of peace.
WHO WE ARE
We are a group of Colombian volunteers, some victims of the war, and we are working to promote reconciliation and peace among victims, victimizers and members of civil society in Colombia.
WHAT WE DO
We facilitate meetings in neutral venues in Colombia where victims, victimizers and members of civil society come together to share their experiences in search of peace. Our activities have led to many instances of reconciliation with lasting benefits among members of different and formerly opposed groups. Victims have provided important lessons of resilience and courage. In Agape the victims are the instructors in the experience of reconciliation.
The totality of our funds help to finance and follow-up of the activities that we conduct in Colombia in order to provide support to war victims.
Agape was initiated in 2006 by a group of Colombian volunteers living in Canada. Some of our volunteers are refuges victims of the Colombian armed conflict. Initially we wanted to support the reintegration of former child-soldiers who were part of a successful government reintegration program in Colombia but suffered rejection in the midst of a society affected by war.
The former child soldiers with the support of the International Migration Organization (OIM) and the Colombian Institute for Child Welfare (ICBF) visited Canada during the summer months of 2006, 2007 and 2008.
Former child soldiers, Colombian victims of the war living in Canada as refugees and other members of the Colombian community, gathered together in a safe and neutral space and shared their painful experiences and the lasting consequences of the war in their lives. The stereotypes and the stigma attached to the condition of child-soldiers disappeared. As a result, many spontaneous instances of reconciliation took place among the refugees and the former child soldiers and significant bonds were established among participants.
In view of the success in Canada, Agape decided to replicate the reconciliation experience in Colombia, reuniting former enemies in a safe space in order to facilitate understanding of the different realities. Since 2012, Agape has successfully organized many reconciliation activities that have promoted healing among those impacted by war.
Agape through the years has also provided financial assistance in emergency situations, facilitated educational courses and training, facilitated access to employment and supported the small business ventures of our participants.