BROOMFIELD, Colo. — 8/25/2016 — The One Earth Future Foundation (OEF), a U.S.-based NGO focused on creating a more peaceful world, congratulates the Colombian government and the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) on the signing of an historic treaty to end more than 50 years of war, effectively ending official wars in the Western Hemisphere.
Half a century of war has had a devastating effect on millions of Colombians and on the country’s social fabric. Overcoming these hurdles to build a sustainable and lasting peace is likely to take decades of hard work. One Earth Future and its program, PASO Colombia (Sustainable Peace for Colombia), are working with urban and rural communities affected by conflict to encourage peace through grassroots initiatives.
“We believe peace should be built by everyone for everyone from the territorial level,” said David Alejandro Schoeller-Díaz, information manager of PASO Colombia. “We are working with diverse groups to launch an unprecedented series of city-wide workshops so communities can commit to building peace with their own hands.”
In the first effort to bring together community leaders, faith-based organizations, and other agents of peace in Colombia’s suburban and rural communities, nearly 500 people participated from more than 50 different neighborhoods.
“We are working with peasant communities to build a milk processing plant that will provide jobs and other benefits for farmers and ex-combatants alike,” said Juan Fernando Lucio, director of PASO Colombia. “Projects like this one are critical to overcoming the historic marginalization of peasants who feel left behind by the agro-industrial sector and pushed toward illegal sources of income. These projects help communities build and take ownership of their futures in this new chapter of peace in Colombia.”
The plant will provide for collection and refrigeration of milk and will allow the production of yogurt and a local dairy delicacy, “manjar blanco,” which will create dozens of additional jobs, some of which could be filled by demobilized ex-combatants.
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