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[GCED in Action] Paz para Mambrú: A Peacebuilding Initiative in Colombia for early childhood
  • 23/11/21


The process of transition to peace in Colombia after more than 50 years of armed conflict is in its most decisive phase; the implementation of the Peace Agreements. This long period has, directly and indirectly, marked practically all aspects of the lives of Colombians, who were born and raised amid multiple manifestations of violence inherited from the conflict. In this context, Violeta Ramirez, alumni of the 7th Global Youth Leadership Workshop, with the support of APCEIU, gathered a group of young women leaders committed to the development of a culture of peace in Colombia, to build the project Paz para Mambrú, which began in July and completed its first stage in October 2021. Paz para Mambrú aims to develop a series of theoretical and practical tools, directed to caregivers and educators, in order to promote peace education from its intrapersonal and interpersonal dimensions in the most important stage of human development for the settlement of the values of coexistence, early childhood.



In the first stage of the project, it was proposed to bring together a group of young leaders to form a team with diverse interests and aptitudes who are sensitive to the urgency of deepening peace education. In this phase, the sensitization focused on the possibilities that each of them could have to formulate and build pedagogical and ludic strategies to strengthen the values of peace and coexistence in early childhood, especially for children between the ages of 2 and 8 years old. In this way, design, audiovisual arts, psychology, education, research, and textual elaboration skills and knowledge could all be put to use. Furthermore, the Peace for Mambrú team spent the last few months designing two thematic modules on the Intrapersonal dimension of peace education, oriented to caregivers and educators to facilitate the processes of self-concept development during early childhood. Following the same dimension, two games were developed to help children recognize their abilities and learn how to use them for coexistence.



The team then carried out pilot tests of the games at the private school Gimnasio los Caobos and the rural public school IED El Carmen. The activity piqued the teachers' interest and motivation, who requested to extend the application in terms of beneficiaries and time. On the other hand, the children were actively involved in the activities, fulfilling the learning objectives and enjoying the space.

Early childhood caregivers and educators were particularly interested in the contextualized practical tools that are easy to access and use, as well as simple and well-focused, from which they can develop and consolidate values of peace and coexistence. Peace for Mambrú in this sense focuses on two populations, young people as creative producers of strategies focused on games and children as beneficiaries and peacebuilders. With the positive response to the initially designed contents, it is intended to continue developing pedagogical and ludic tools that address other aspects of peaceful coexistence, such as empathy and the relationship with the environment.

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