Projects in Colombia

For more than 50 years, people in Colombia suffered from the armed conflict. Even after the peace agreement between the FARC guerilla and the government, Colombia remains a tattered society. Peace is not simply the absence of war. Social conflicts do not magically disappear overnight. Peace-building work in Columbia began many years ago and continues to this day. The Swiss peace development programme Semillas des Esperanza is making an important contribution in this area.

A future for young people in rural areas

Farming families in Colombia have been badly affected by the civil war. Thousands have been threatened by armed militias and forced to leave their land. New refugees join them every day. Our partner organisation ACA helps groups of young farmers not to allow themselves to be driven out but to see that they have a future on their land.

Opportunities for a life without crime

The disadvantaged district of Aguablanca in Calì is scarred by the violence of the armed conflict in Colombia. Many young people end up in violent gangs because they have no other prospects. The gangs are sometimes linked to Mafia or paramilitary groups, are fierce rivals and terrorise the local population. Our partner organisation Paz y Bien tries to talk to these young people and show them alternative opportunities for their lives.

Young people against war and the militarisation of life

An armed conflict between rebels and the military forces in Colombia has been going on for decades. The rich can buy their way out of doing military service, but the poor are often dragged into it against their will. For many young people there is only one option: to refuse to take part in the war and the armed conflict. Our partner organisation ACOOC fights against the unequal treatment of rich and poor, the contempt for freedom of conscience and the indiscriminate recruiting of children and young people.

Alternatives in life for young Afro-Colombians

The armed conflict between the military, paramilitary and guerilla forces in Colombia is particularly fierce in the region of Cauca. It is the Afro-Colombian young people especially who are caught up in the spiral of violence. Our partner organisation UOAFROC (Unidad de Organizaciones Afrocaucanas) helps young people who have been affected by violence to work through their traumatic experiences, shows them alternatives to violence and strengthens their sense of identity.

Youth are escaping the cycle of violence

The major city Medellín rose to prominence in the 1980s due to tragic circumstances. It was home to Pablo Escobar’s drug cartel, which controlled large parts of the global cocaine market. Today, the city is still characterised by drugs and violence. Feelings of hopelessness and a lack of opportunities drive many young people into the drug trade. Our partner organisation Corporación Platohedro carries out important preventative work by providing meaningful recreational activities for young people in Medellín.

Using art and culture to fight against youth violence

The district of Bosa in Colombia’s capital, Bogotá, is scarred by social tensions, unemployment, violence and drugs. There is virtually nothing meaningful for young people to do in their free time. Our partner organisation Videos y Rollos offers young people classes in theatre, music and video-making. Through art and culture they learn how to express anti-violence messages and actively use their opportunities to influence local politics.

Meeting place for young people

The district of Unidad de Planeación Zonal 89 (UPZ89) in Bogotá is dominated by violence, drugs, criminality and social tensions. Young people are all stigmatised as violent in the media, even though they themselves are also victims. The youth club Barrios del Mundo works to counter the all-prevailing violence in UPZ 89 with art and culture. The young people learn to express their feelings through artistic media like dance, circus, theatre and music and how to express messages about living together without violence.

Swiss peace programme in Colombia

For more than 50 years, people in Colombia suffered from the armed conflict. Even after the peace agreement between the FARC guerilla and the government, Colombia remains a tattered society. Peace is not simply the absence of war. Social conflicts do not magically disappear overnight. Peace-building work in Columbia began many years ago and continues to this day. The Swiss peace development programme Semillas des Esperanza is making an important contribution in this area.

Basic information

Vereinfachte Landkarte von Kolumbien

Size: 1,1 Mio. km² (27 times Switzerland)

Population: 49,1 Mio. (5,8 times Switzerland)

Human Development Index: 0.727 (Rank 95 of 185 Countries)

Income distribution in %: 76,2 (0 = Equal distribution / 100% = one person owns everthing)

Share of population from 0 to 24 years: 43,3% (Switzerland: 26,5%)

Murder rate: 25 of 100 000 Inhabitants (Switzerland: 0,6)

Key project area: Prevention of violence

Programme Coordinator

Anette Homlicher
Programme Coordinator Nicaragua und Kolumbien
061 338 91 48 | Anette.Homlicher@terredeshommes.ch
Anette HomlicherProgramme Coordinator Nicaragua und Kolumbien

061 338 91 48 | Anette.Homlicher@terredeshommes.ch