Colombia

Since the summer of 2016, LWB has worked with the Ministry of Culture and the National Library of Colombia on an ambitious and very concrete contribution of libraries in order to assist the peace process.

Background

Colombia has experienced armed conflict since the 1960s, as government forces and the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) clashed throughout the country.  At the end of 2016, and after four years of negotiation, a peace treaty was finally signed between the two parties.  To ensure the effectiveness of this peace treaty, and combat inequalities that have only added to the conflict, the Colombian government has made cultural diversity a central element of national reconciliation.

Our approach

After several months of preparation (content selection and curation, etc.), construction and selection of content, 20 Ideas Box Kits were deployed in zones of demobilization and transition for use in communities affected by the conflict, and both former FARC combatants and indigenous populations.

What we do

Based in Colombia, LWB staff helped support this program as well as the numerous librarians responsable for facilitating the Ideas Box on a daily basis.  Serving as collaborative spaces, the Ideas Box have been particularly important for encouraging exchanges and restoring trust within communities as well as within the Colombian government.

For example, each week in the village of Monterredondo, situated in the province of Cauca (an area heavily effected by the conflict), around ten adults reconvine at the new library José Luis to discuss important subjects.  The library additionally provides them with the resources to research and prepare for these discussions.

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