Public Statement 2016
|Community Led Peace-Building|
|Number of direct &
|Primary program areas||Education/training|
Fundación Sumapaz (Sumapaz) was legally established in l998 with the purpose of promoting human rights. Sumapaz began work with the grassroots, prioritizing the issue of internally displaced persons (IDPs) in the city of Medellin, and positioning economic need as a human rights issue. With a governing structure of 13 members, representing various professional areas, it has received recognition as an organization that has successfully worked with grassroots organizations, bridging community efforts with municipal government support.
The area of focus has been the neighborhoods of Comuna 3, where many IDPs (mainly women who had lost their husbands) have arrived from the regions of Urabá, Chocó and the department of Antioquia. Throughout its history, Sumapaz has received funding from Medellin's mayor’s office, and foreign assistance from the Norwegian Fund for Human Rights, the Spanish organization Paz y Tercer Mundo, and the Appleton Foundation. It has been recognized for its success in obtaining support from the mayor’s office for community efforts.
Sumapaz will work with community-based organizations in northeast Medellin to create an urban peace agenda. Sumapaz expects that by using a participatory approach to construct a common agenda, grassroots organizations will be better prepared to build peace in their territory, negotiate with local officials and propose peace projects in their communities. Sumapaz will disseminate the peace agenda through a publicity campaign. The project will directly benefit 40 community leaders, 180 members of about 12 community-based organizations, and indirectly impact the residents of the four communities (comunas) of northeast Medellin.
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.