Acacia’s peace camp in Colombia

In July 2015, Acacia organised the “Camp 4 Peace” that took place in Colombia. The camp had two phases: during the first five days, Acacia and their international partners worked together, and from the sixth day, other young people from Colombia joined. All the activities were around the topic of peacebuilding. We talked about four transversal topics: sexual and reproductive rights and gender, civic participation, environment and education for peace.

We discussed what we can do contribute to peace in Colombia and how to do it through our daily life and actions as an organisation. For example, during an environment session, we realised that our actions can contaminate water, causing death to trees and animals, creating a destruction chain that will reach humans as well, affecting us directly.

Enjoying the experience of a camp (taking into account that a lot of the children had never been in one before) with international partners was a great chance to approach different cultures and working methods. We learnt a lot about children, their knowledge and we showed them our means of working. Thanks to Oliver, the international volunteer from Germany who worked with us last year, we were able to overcome language barriers. The children prepared an activity in which leaders weren’t allowed to participate and although we were frightened at the beginning, all went on well. It was very interesting to have time toreflect with new leaders from another social reality. We didn’t care about our origins but about exchanging ideas.

Acacia2On the sixth day we welcomed participants from different cultural and political organisations in Colombia. It was very stimulating to discuss peace in Colombia and how each group works depending on the needs of their community. Fortunately, the event was not only about working! We had a lot of fun trying to swim for the very first time in Pance’s river. We played football, did jugglery and had some handicraft workshops. And we spent two special nights around a campfire singing songs while playing guitar and drums. We were able to create a “amily” environment and we learnt how to live together using our empowering new cohabitation rules.

Finally, we would like to thank everyone who contributed to the possibility for Acacia to have this camp and our international partners from Rote Falken Österreich and SJD – Die Falken who showed us that there’s a lot of great people working for peace around the world