Public Statement 2017
|Creation and Dissemination of the Misak People’s Peace-building Strategy in Colombia|
|Number of direct &
|Primary program areas||Education/training|
Guambia, founded in 1995, works to preserve the territory, social and political autonomy, and cultural identity of the indigenous Guambiano people, also known as the Misak. Guambia, their principal administrative entity, represents 19 cabildos, the governing structures of indigenous resguardos, or geographically demarcated units. Each cabildo holds an annual general assembly to elect its governor, vice-governor, mayor, treasurer, secretary and bailiff who represent and serve community members. A commission representing all 19 cabildos meets annually to elect Guambia’s governor and vice-governor, who work closely with the cabildos’ secretaries to define priorities and address issues. Guambia manages resources that it mobilizes and funds transferred to it from the Colombian government. It administers programs in health, education, justice, communications, agriculture, territorial defense and the environment. It also manages private, incorporated companies, which have successfully opened new venues for marketing Guambiano products.
Guambia is one of a cohort of (IAF) grantee partners that will support peace-building efforts at the grassroots level. Guambia will convene a series of meetings and workshops in 19 cabildos (indigenous associations) to discuss and analyze the ongoing peace negotiations and, through a participatory process, create a post conflict strategy for Misak indigenous communities. The project will directly benefit 200 persons, and will indirectly benefit 26,000 indigenous community members.
Rationale for Funding
Grassroots organizations and nongovernmental organizations have an important role in building peace in Colombia. As Colombians begin to imagine a future without conflict, these organizations and their members must have their voices and proposals heard. To do this, they must have tools and spaces for learning and sharing, in this way building trust and relationships of mutual support among each other and with other actors in the country.
This grant adds to a cohort of projects that support peace-building efforts at the grassroots level. The grant will give IAF the opportunity to learn about how building trust and relationships of mutual support between grantee partners and other actors in the country can be a first step towards national reconciliation. These grants will also help the Foundation to learn how to more effectively respond at scale to challenging opportunities such as the peace process in Colombia.