There are many ways to get involved in the work of the FOR Peace Presence and we would love to have your support! You can take action from your home or come work with our team in Colombia. If you would like to become a volunteer without moving to Colombia, here are some ways you can help:
- Become a volunteer translator
- Host a house party to show a video and raise funds for the project
- Set up a webinar at your local college, high school, church or social justice group in which people can hear directly from our accompaniers and other leaders in Colombia
- Staff a table about FOR Peace Presence at an alternative job fair or social justice event in your area, collecting names for our rapid response network in case of emergency
- Go on a delegation
- Host a speaking tour
- Post flyers around town about our upcoming delegations, volunteer training or speaking tour
If you are interested in any of these ideas or have ideas of your own, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with us!
Apply to Work on Our Team
- Provide international protective accompaniment to the rural Peace Community of San José de Apartadó, other partner organizations and movements throughout Colombia. This includes ongoing security analysis as a permanent human rights observer in conflict zones.
- Work to uphold human rights and international humanitarian law through political advocacy with the diplomatic core in Bogota.
- Help grow a global grassroots solidarity network to support nonviolent peace initiatives in Colombia through delegations, speaking tours, short videos, written articles and other social media outlets.
- A clear understanding of and commitment to nonviolence.
- Proficiency in both Spanish and English.
- A strong commitment to teamwork.
- Minimum commitment of one year.
- Minimum 23 years of age to apply.
- Resilience, the ability to work effectively under intense pressure and stress.
- Willingness to live in an extremely rural environment.
- Sensitivity to and the ability to work with people of different cultures demonstrated through previous experience with people of another culture. Experience in the field is an asset, but is not required. Familiarity with rural communities is also helpful.
- Familiarity with consensus decision-making.
- Ability to represent the project in a professional and appropriate manner, in a wide variety of settings.
- Ability to track and analyze information that is pertinent to the safety of volunteers, the need for external support, and/or the opportunities for enhancing the work.
- Basic computer skills.
- Reasonable proficiency with writing reports, summarizing information, and capturing stories through anecdotes or interviews, is highly recommended. Some familiarity with photography is recommended.
- Other skills that may be useful but are not required include experience with first aid, translating and interpreting, cooking, and other skills of daily life.
- A good working knowledge of the current situation in Colombia is highly recommended.
Team members are expected to do outreach in the United States to share their experience (speaking, writing) after service in Colombia.
FOR covers living expenses (food, lodging, and travel when doing FOR work) in the field during the term of service (in addition to providing a small monthly stipend and some health insurance). Team members are strongly encouraged to raise money to assist with their personal expenses while serving on the team.
FOR will provide extensive training, which includes the following: reading materials, FOR-led training sessions in the United States and Colombia, self-study plans, and where appropriate attendance at conferences, classes or trainings on specific topics. In addition to training, each qualified applicant will be interviewed. The interview and training process is a mutual-discernment process — to help the applicant decide if serving in this project is a commitment he or she would like to make, and to help FOR determine if he or she is adequately prepared for the experience.
The next training will be in the spring of 2014 in Nyack, NY. Applications and references are being accepted on a rolling basis.
Fellowship of Reconciliation: Colombia Peace Presence
Fellowship of Reconciliation (FOR) representatives in Colombia will act in the spirit of the Fellowship’s statement of purpose, which joins people together “to explore the power of love and truth for resolving human conflict.” FOR members identify with people “who are the victims of injustice and exploitation, and seek to develop resources of active nonviolence to transform such circumstances.” They also “refuse to participate in any war or to sanction military preparations.” These commitments have led the FOR to recognize and support the extraordinary commitment to nonviolence and justice of the Peace Community of San José de Apartadó, in the Urabá region of Colombia. FOR representatives at all times abide by the laws and Constitution of Colombia.
Our mission and mandate are expressions of interest and concern of people of conscience and faith in the United States for the Peace Community of San José de Apartadó in Colombia, and for a just and nonviolent resolution of conflict in Colombia generally.
Through the installation in Colombia of international (especially US) observers, the FOR seeks to:
- Support the Peace Community’s right to life and protection of the human rights of its members and of nearby residents.
- Contribute to improvement of the situation of human rights and international humanitarian law in San José de Apartadó and the Urabá region, in order that civil society have the space to work for social justice and the peaceful solution of conflicts in the region.
- Inform the international community about the situation of the Peace Community, Medellín Youth Network, Antioquia Peasant Association, and their regions, thus contributing to a deeper understanding of the human dimensions of the conflict in Colombia and of efforts to peacefully resolve the conflict.
- Convey to Colombians through our presence the active concern of U.S. society for civilians affected by the conflict in Colombia.
The FOR Peace Presence seeks to obtain these objectives through the following activities:
- Accompaniment of Peace Community: FOR observers will physically accompany members of La Unión in San José de Apartadó, in the settlement and work areas, in order to strengthen their security. FOR observers may also accompany Peace Community members while they travel outside the community, and other settlements of San José on occasion. FOR observers carry out accompaniment on the basis of requests from the community.
- Activities to raise the visibility and increase the security of other partners, the Antioquia Peasant Association (ACA), Accion Colectiva de Objetores y Objetoras por Conciencia (ACOOC), Tierra Digna and human rights defenders.
- Reporting to International Community: FOR observers report, including via public communications, on their experiences and what they learn to the international community.
- Communication with Colombian government officials, the diplomatic cores and UN officials, FOR advisors, and human rights NGOs: FOR observers periodically communicate their presence and concerns to Colombian and U.S. authorities, to convey FOR’s concerns related to the community and to learn from others’ perspectives.
These activities are meant to be mutually reinforcing of each other.
For any questions and/or to submit a completed application with three references, please write Candice Camargo at bogota[at]peacepresence.org. We accept applications on a rolling basis and will invite successful applicants to a phone interview followed by a week long training. The training is a mutual discernment process and will determine whether the applicant is invited to join the team.
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