ABOUT AGAPE |
AGAPE FOR COLOMBIA IS A NON-PROFIT ORGANIZATION RUN BY VOLUNTEERS.
Our mission 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. Our volunteers are either refugees living in Canada or were victims of the war and live in Colombia. Other volunteers are members of civil society. Our reconciliation activities take place mainly in Colombia.
WHAT WE DO
We facilitate meetings in neutral venues in Colombia where former child soldiers and combatants, victims of forced displacement, victims of kidnappings, women victims of sexual abuse, refugees, members of indigenous communities and members of civil society come together to share their experiences in search of peace. Our activities have led to many instances of reconciliation among different groups with lasting benefits to the participants.
The totality of our funds are directed towards the planning, financing and follow-up of the activities that we conduct in Colombia in order to provide support to war victims.
Agape was initiated by a group of Colombian volunteers living in Canada. We decided to support the reintegration to civil society of former child-soldiers who were part of a successful government reintegration program in Colombia.
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. Members of the Colombian community and refugees also participated in the program.
Former child soldiers, other victims of the war and members of the Colombian community living in Canada 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 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 provided financial assistance in emergency situations, facilitated educational courses and training, facilitated access to employment and supported small business ventures of our participants.