Colombian Rights

Specialist in the civil peace service of the AGEH supports human rights organizations in Colombia Cologne Christof Wunsch, specialist in the personnel program of civil peace service (CFS) of the Association for development aid (AGEH) e.V., has completed in September last year his project work in Colombia. The social workers worked on behalf of AGEH for the Colombian non-governmental organization PODION”for six years. He developed a concept for so-called peace schools together with colleagues and coordinated the implementation of the programme. A total 180 employees from 32 local organizations were trained in questions of human rights, of international humanitarian law, of nonviolent conflict transformation, as well as the psychosocial accompaniment of victims of violence. Each of these organizations has passed in turn their knowledge each year approximately 25 people.

The measure has achieved, therefore grossed nearly 5,000 people”, explains Christof Wunsch. The schools of peace involves a training for employees local charities and institutions by dioceses, which has the goal to improve their competence in dealing with violence, displacement and human rights violations. We have reached a real strengthening of the civil society with the training”so wish. In a society where violence on the agenda and human rights violations are perpetrated daily, the participants have can better develop their own commitment for more peace and thereby strengthen. So, one of the organizations have started an action that convinced youth by educating them to make themselves not by paramilitaries, guerrillas or army recruit. The recruitment in this region had declined then significantly. Others have teachers share the newly acquired knowledge. They then introduced the topic of mediation, a method for the constructive resolution of conflicts, in their schools and could thus reduce the violence there.

2007 the 32 local organisations have, to the peace schools”have taken part, and all your own The – and perform human rights projects, the national network for democracy and peace “. Christof Wunsch accompanied the initiative as a consultant. “He explains: the merger allows the individual organisations exchange of experience and most important, a degree of protection, in its commitment to human rights.” Also could the network make public important issues at national and international level and strengthen the civil society peace commitment in Colombia. In December returned Christof on behalf of AGEH after Colombia wish back, as a consultant his work over the next three years to help the network. About the AGEH: Founded in 1959 working community for development aid e.V. (AGEH) is the personnel service of the German Catholics for international cooperation and state-recognised development service. The Club is supported by 25 members, which include including Catholic development organizations, such as the Bishop’s charity Misereor, the Kolping Society and the Caritasverband. At the Cologne headquarters, 46 employees serve the now approx. 280 professionals from abroad. The AGEH is one also of eight carriers of the program funded by the Federal Government civilian peace service”.