Latin America is a continent known for its high levels of violence and inequality. Fundacion Futuro Latinoamericano (FFLA) believes that direct violence reinforces structural violence (poverty, exclusion, discrimination, exploitation, marginalization) and that structural violence reinforces cultural violence (chauvinism, racism, sexism) creating a vicious circle. FFLA looks to break this circle and reduce violence through the Peace Building and Border Zones Strategic Initiative. Since 2009, the Initiative works on a regional level, particularly in border zones where there are high levels of violence, exploitation and illegal activities. These problems impede, even further, the fulfillment of the rights of the most vulnerable people. For this reason the Initiative looks to strengthen the capacities of young people and women, promoting a peace culture.
To consolidate social fabrics and reduce the situation of vulnerability in which many youth in border zones live, strengthening their capacities to work together with decision-makers and civil society in the transformation of conflicts and peace building.
How do we work?
The Strategic Initiative has designed a process of capacity building for youth and women as promoters of a peace culture. The objective of the training is to train youth as social stakeholders that practice and live the principals of a peace culture and promote projects to consolidate the social fabric in their communities.
The Initiative offers technical assistance to young people in the elaboration of proposals of peace building and the inclusion of their programs in local and national governments. This is achieved through meetings, international and national youth forums, campaigns, replicas, advocacy, organizational strengthening based on dialogue and the identification and implementation of innovative economic initiatives.
Additionally, the Initiative has developed a range of topics to strengthen the capacities of decision-makers that includes a Sensitive Approach to Conflict – Do No Harm, conflict analysis, dialogue facilitation and collaborative negotiation.
• The Initiative has worked in the border zone between Ecuador and Colombia, directly training more than 200 young people as peace promoters and more than 800 indirect beneficiaries to reduce violence and prevent conflicts in the zone.
• The Initiative supported young people from the border province of Sucumbios in Ecuador to elaborate a Youth Manifesto that resulted in an agenda where projects were prioritized for 2013. The Manifesto lead the local government to include in its budget some of the proposed projects such as the construction of a youth house in the province, the training of peace promoters in youth establishments and sex and reproduction education talks in local communities.
• Through a local financial institution, the Initiative has managed to gain access to credit for young people. Attending to the financial needs of this population segment and giving them access to low interest credit, which would not be possible in other financial entities due to their age and economic situation. In this way the project has helped young people to feel included within the financial system and able to reach their goals and aspirations; not only with credit but also with the possibility to open savings accounts.
Where do we work?
Peace culture.- A combination of values, attitudes, traditions, behaviors and lifestyles based on a respect for life, nature, human rights, the promotion and practice of non-violence, the pacific approach to conflicts and the search for a fair development.