Young people in Montería, Córdoba, in Colombia’s Caribbean region, have been recruited and victimized by illegal armed groups at extremely high rates. Although young people did not have a seat at the table in Colombia’s peace negotiations, national legislation offers spaces for youth political participation to advance issues of importance, such as protection measures, job training, access to employment and entrepreneurship opportunities, and affordable education. At the IAF, we support community-led approaches to improving governance by engaging young people in the political process. Corporación de Profesionales Construyendo Ciudadanía (CPCC) is strengthening Montería’s youth movement and facilitating the inclusion of rural youth in local policy agendas. This will enable local youth to better engage with the municipal government to create and implement youth-centered public policies that respond to young people’s most urgent needs. CPCC is exploring ways to make its training methodology virtual and accessible for rural youth during times of limited mobility due to COVID-19 as well as other ways to address the immediate needs and longer-term recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic in the communities it serves.
This grant is part of a broader initiative to build a just and lasting peace in Colombia and the IAF’s broader COVID-19 response strategy.