Peace in Colombia?

“14.000 Colombian children recruited and victimized”. Much has been said about the possibility of peace in Colombia, zooming in on the peace talks between guerrilla groups such as FARC or ELN and the government. Children in Colombia have never experienced peace and have been victimized by the on-going conflict. How realistic is it for Colombian children to hope for peace in the near future for their home country?

War Child has been supporting Colombian children since 2006, offering psychosocial support, protection and education. Recently, War Child has started new projects in Bogota, reaching children who suffer from the consequences of urban violence in one of the world’s most dangerous cities.


Guerrilla and street gangs

The hope for peace in Colombia started after the historic moment of Congress ratifying the agreement signed by president Juan Manuel Santos and FARC leader Rodrigo Londoño, known as Timochenko, ending a war that had lasted more than 50 years (Source: But besides the peace efforts between the government and paramilitary groups that are mostly active in rural Colombia, the inhabitants of Colombian cities such as Bogota have been challenged by the consequences of urban violence.

Urban violence

In contrast to the capital’s sprawling character and its popularity amongst tourists, the reality of many Colombians living in Bogota has been dominated by violent street gangs. War Child acknowledges how the problem of violence in Colombia is not solely linked to the paramilitary groups. That is why War Child projects in Colombia are located both in rural and urban areas.

Bikes for a future

Recruitment by armed groups remains an everyday threat for children in Colombia. That’s why one of War Child’s projects in Bogota, called the Peace Bicycle Youth Centre, is focused upon strengthening the resilience of the Colombian youth. The set-up of learning topics within this educational project is broad. The children can join practical lessons on the reparation of bikes and the rental business, as well as classes that educate them on their own socio-economic rights. Currently, this project is still in the pilot phase.

Read more about the Peace Bicycle Youth Centre and other projects of War Child in Colombia.

Would you like to contribute to War Child’s projects in Colombia? Participate in our Urban Heroes Obstacle Run 2018 (copy in Dutch) or initiate your own fundraising event!

Copy: Roosmarijn Groen