Schools of Peace as Safe Environments: A Peace Education Project in San Vicente Del Caguán, Colombia

The project, operated by Fundación Escuelas de Paz, was Developed in San Vicente del Caguán, former FARC territory, as an alliance between the Office of the High Commissioner for Peace, Caqueta’s Department of Education, USAID, the International Organization for Migration and UNICEF.

Announcing the Compartir Peace Education Prize – Colombia

The Compartir Foundation will award a new Peace Education Prize that recognizes, promotes and makes visible in Colombia educational projects, teachers and principals, who are also transforming leaders using active pedagogical strategies – participatory, inclusive and meaningful practices – that promote attitudes, beliefs and practices consistent with cultures of peace, especially in contexts where exclusion, aggression and violence practices have been common.

Grupo de maestros que recibieron reconocimiento por sus experiencias de construcción de paz, valores y convivencia en la escuela.

Lanzamiento Premio Compartir ‘Educación para la Paz’

Desde hace más de 50 años, maestros y rectores colombianos construyen paz en las aulas, en las escuelas y en las comunidades. Como reconocimiento a su labor, a partir de 2018, se otorgará el Premio Compartir ‘Educación para la PAZ’, un galardón dirigido a aquellos líderes que desde su trabajo formativo contribuyen a generar ambientes democráticos y a la construcción de proyectos de vida de niños y jóvenes.

Peace educators / researchers gather at the Campus el Carmen de Viboral of the University of Antioquia on March 3, 2017. Left to right: Josefina Echavarría (Univ. Innsbruck), Roberth Uribe (Univ. of Antioquia), Francesco Ferrari (Univ. of Jena), Cecilia Plested (Univ. of Antioquia) Martin Leiner (Univ. of Jena).

Continuous Support from European Universities to Peace Education in Colombia: A report from the Unit for Peace and Conflict Studies at the University of Innsbruck (Austria)

As the peace initiatives in Colombia continue to flourish during the challenging phase of the implementation of the peace agreements between the government and the FARC-EP, several universities from Europe are visiting the country, learning from and lending support to local approaches to peacebuilding and conflict transformation.

(Image: Times Higher Education / Getty)

Will peace in Colombia mean progress for universities?

A range of recent programmes have attempted to make Colombia more globally competitive in higher education. Amongst these programs are new international summer schools that bring together about 300 Colombian academics and students with international experts, including Nobel prizewinners, to address one of the three key “pillars” – equity, education and peace – flagged up in the president’s National Development Plan.

The coming of peace is naturally welcomed, but universities seem cautious in their optimism about what it is likely to mean for them. Universidad del Norte’s Roa expects “great economic investments for the post-conflict transition” but sees no evidence that increased funds will be directed towards higher education.

Call for Papers: Special Issue of In Factis Pax on Peace Building in Post-Conflict Contexts

In Factis Pax invites papers for submission on a Special Issue on Peace Building in Post-Conflict Contexts inspired by the ground-breaking developments in Colombia to end the fifty years’ war, and the civil society efforts in peace education and peace building toward transforming society and culture.

Neila (8) attends school in Calle Santa Rosa community in Cauca municipality in Colombia. (Photo: Ingrid Prestetun/NRC)

Colombia: Education is key to end the violence

For more than five decades, the armed conflict in Colombia has prevented the country’s youth from building a future. Now, they might soon be given a seat in the classroom. In Colombia’s rural areas, the armed conflict has prevented children and youth from attending school, according to a new report by the Norwegian Centre for Conflict Resolution (NOREF) and the Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC).
“Getting these children back to school will be key to secure peace and stabilisation in Colombia,” said NRC’s country director in Colombia, Christian Visnes.

“COLECTIVO EDUCACIÓN PARA LA PAZ” MANIFESTO: Farewell to war! Reasons for a Pedagogy for Peace

This manifesto, issued by ‘El Colectivo Educación para la Paz’ of Colombia outlines a collective commitment to, and vision for, peace education through clearly articulated values and principles for peace education and peace pedagogy.

‘El Colectivo Educación para la Paz’ (The Peace Education Collective) constitutes an effort of several universities, research centers and non-governmental organizations at the national and international order committed to the design, management and implementation of plans, programs and projects of national and international practices aimed at reducing social exclusion and violence impact, as well as strengthen a culture of peace, peaceful coexistence and recognition of differences.

Students from San Vicente del Caguan. Fundacion Escuelas de Paz is conducting peace education training with more than 80 educators in the formerly FARC controlled area.

Reflections from a Peace Educator on the Possibility of Peace in Colombia

Amada Benavides de Perez is President of Fundación Escuelas de Paz, a peace education NGO in Colombia. She attended the September 26 signing of the peace agreement between the Colombian government and FARC. She and colleagues have been working tirelessly developing and training networks of formal and non-formal networks for decades, contributing to the foundational peacebuilding work making the possibility of the agreement possible. In the coming months, Fundacion Escuelas de Paz will be coordinating peace education efforts in territories formerly controlled by the FARC.

In this message, Amada offers her reflections on a turbulent week that began with hope, only to collide with confusion and exasperation. We stand in solidarity with Amada, the peace educators and the citizens of Colombia for their continued courage in pursuit of peace through education.

Endgame: in spite of polarised views on ‘the past crimes of the guerrillas’, peace ‘negotiations are likely to continue’ (Photo: Times Higher Education / Getty)

Colombian universities can still drive peace-building after vote

José Manuel Restrepo-Abondano, who heads Del Rosario University, argues that universities still have a major role to play in trying to cement peace in Colombia even after the failed referendum. Academic research on education and peace offers a number of key insights.