Reconciliation Programs

Our meetings generate conditions that facilitate reconciliation and promote peace among Colombians. Our gatherings provide opportunities to provide support for the victims as they struggle to rebuild their lives and for participants to become acquainted with the complexities of the armed conflict and of the physical and emotional consequences of the war for the victims.

 

 

Armenia 2012 “In search of Reconciliation”

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This was our first reconciliation gathering among child-soldiers, victims of kidnapping and displacement, refugees and members of  civil society in Colombia.
 Through the sharing of experiences, recognition of the pain and suffering of the victims and the support provided amongst  participants,
 meaningful relationships were established. Furthermore, through  symbolic acts of reparation, together with a great desire for peace, a  formal engagement towards the creation of other reconciliation  spaces was made, and it is in this way Agape’s reconciliation  workshops were born. 
“No one could have anticipated the impact that this meetings would have in our lives once the former child soldiers shared their stories and their reasons to join armed groups. Through their testimonies, attitudes and their need for forgiveness they became agents in the reconciliation of other victims of the war in Colombia”.  A participant

 

Caloto 2013 “Grief support and Reconciliation Workshop with children of the NASA indigenous community”

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The NASA community has been hard hit by the ravages of war partly due to their geographical location in the midst of a traffic corridor for the drug market’s access to the Pacific Ocean. Agape was approached by some of the elders in the community requesting support for their young people who have lost mothers, fathers or siblings.
The community is fairly isolated and not much civil support has been made accessible to them. The grief workshop and the activities organized for them, allowed the children to express and recognize their grief. There was a healing element in the fact that strangers from faraway places were touched by their losses. These young people are also part of the Agape family.

Villavicencio 2013 “Peace is everyone’s responsibility”

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 We received a request to organize a Reconciliation workshop by ten members of the police force who were kidnapped and kept in captivity in the Amazonian jungle for up to thirteen years. These policemen wanted to meet the former child-soldiers in order to make their peace with their young captors, many of them their guards during captivity.

Villavicencio 2014 “Workshop for couples”.

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The same policemen victims of the war, requested a workshop oriented towards their couples. Agape designed a workshop keeping in mind the particular circumstances of these families. Fathers and husbands returning home after 13 years, to find adolescent and adult sons and daughters that they did not know, wives that had evolved in different directions. In a welcoming atmosphere the couples exchanged experiences, learnt from one another and received support from the community.

Villavicencio 2015 “And we are survivors”

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A group of twenty women victims of sexual abuse in the context of the war, having heard about Agape, they contacted us to request a workshop conceived specifically for them. These courageous women shared with the participants the ordeals that they have been through and acknowledged the ways in which they have survived.
A request for a reconciliation workshop with these women’s children has been received and we hope to be able to respond to this new request.