Agape was initiated by a group of Colombian volunteers living in Canada. We decided to create and implement a reconciliation and training program for former child-soldiers who were part of a successful government reintegration program in Colombia.
The former child soldiers visited Canada during the summer months of 2006, 2007 and 2008. Members of the Colombian community and refugees directly affected by the war were also invited to participate.
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 of the experience in Canada, Agape decided to replicate it in Colombia. Since 2012, Agape has successfully organized eight reconciliation gatherings providing a safe space for child-soldiers, policemen victims of prolonged kidnappings, refugees, victims of forced displacement, women victims of sexual abuse and indigenous children victims of the war. They have all benefitted from the activities facilitated by our organization.
Agape has also provided financial assistance in emergency situations, facilitated courses, contributed to access to employment and supported small business ventures of our participants.