Less noise, more community!
As part of our project aimed at promoting peace and reconciliation in neighbourhoods that have been worst affected by decades of conflict, we've been supporting children, youth leaders and community leaders to run campaigns to heal divisions in their community.
With support from adult community leaders, children from our partner Fundescodes in Buenaventura ran a campaign called “I Commit”, in which they asked community members to reduce the volume they play music at home and on the street.
The children explained that the situation was causing friction and excessive noise in the community which was stopping them doing basic things like studying and sleeping.
Community members got involved and wrote their personal commitments to promoting peaceful coexistence on a public noticeboard:
"I will play music at a moderate volume so I don't disturb other people."
"More love and less noise in the community!"
"I will help to avoid this becoming a problem that generates divisions in the community."
There have been many noticable changes in the attitudes and behaviour of the adults reached by this project, leading a reduction in the level of violence towards children and an increased interest in protecting their rights.
For instance, in one neighbourhood the children had identified regular instances of abusive behaviour towards children. If, for example, children were playing football on the street and their ball was accidently kicked into a neighbour’s yard, the neighbour would respond with physical and verbal aggression.
Since the children and community leader ran their peacebuilding campaigns, Fundescodes has found that community members are no longer aggressive towards children and now use dialogue instead of aggression to resolve potentially conflictive situations. The neighbours have also agreed among themselves to take turns to observe the children whenever they play in the street, as a means of further protecting them from harm.
If you read Spanish, follow this link to read more about the activities and campaigns that children at Fundescodes ran to promote peace and coexistence in their communities through our project this year. If you don't read Spanish, there are some great photos in the article that we are sure you will enjoy seeing!