On April 26th, 2019, 215 young people from seven countries and various Christian churches and movements in Latin America, embarked on a path of online learning and sharing for peace through the Emprendemos Paz program.
Emprendemos Paz is an initiative of various regional Christian University movements and youth networks and is promoted by ACT members Centro Regional Ecuménico de Asesoría y Servicio (CREAS) and Christian Aid. The program aims to strengthen the capacity of youth to develop and implement local initiatives that have the potential to transform communities. The training consists of capacity building sessions and the opportunity to engage with a Community of Practice.
“The training process for the Diploma and the Community of Practice will be carried out simultaneously so that feedback is given to the training process through virtual integration and communications,” said Jhon Martínez, coordinator of Emprendemos Paz. Upon completion of the program, participants are awarded a Diploma in Culture of Peace.
Twenty experienced tutors accompany the training process of the youth. The tutors are connected to organisations and networks with links to ecumenical, social and public sectors.
The Diploma in Culture of Peace has been offered five times since 2015. To date, over four hundred youth from nine countries in Latin America have been trained, and there have been approximately 150 social, economic and advocacy projects developed by the graduates.
Testimonials from participants of Emprendemos Paz
“Taking part in the program opened many doors for us. In addition to the financial support received with the formation of the project, we gained many relationships and made contacts with other churches and organisations which we can coordinate with,” said Camila Castaño of Assemblies of God in Colombia.
“I had never formulated a project from a faith perspective, and this experience has enriched me a lot. I feel that I am in communion with God; I will do everything possible to carry out this initiative,” said Hugo García of Nicaragua’s Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
“The tools acquired in Emprendemos Paz enriched our work with youth in the identification of socio-environmental problems,” said Steve Private of the Methodist Church of Peru.
Testimonials from tutors of Emprendemos Paz
“Emprendemos Paz has generated the confidence that is needed to make impactful change in the lives of youth and in their communities. In the process of formulating their proposals for change, young people have been able to understand social, economic, political and environmental realities and have been empowered to rethink about their lives and projects,” said Marta Soler, a tutor based in Honduras.
“Few are the spaces where youth can forge their critical and reflective thinking skills, shape their leadership, and exercise the Christian values that impact and transform their communities. In this context, Emprendemos Paz provides that valuable, pertinent and necessary space in a time of convulsive social, economic, political and environmental crises that our country is experiencing,” said Sandra Gastañudi, a tutor based in Peru.
“The diploma seeks to take concrete action to understand and analyse the agenda of young people on the realities of their communities. It also aims to encourage cooperation for the formation of sustainable development projects that allow for spaces of peace and reconciliation amidst the violence in the country,” said Julieth Páez, a tutor based in Colombia.