OUR APPROACH TO SUSTAINABLE PEACE
PASO Colombia is a program of One Earth Future (OEF), an incubator of innovative peacebuilding programs, working hand-in-hand with communities affected by conflict to eliminate the root causes of war.
After years of work in the Colombian territories most affected by decades of armed conflict, PASO believes that peace is built by sharing time and iterating with the communities to find their own solutions to collective problems together. Unlike the logic of aid, which addresses people as beneficiaries, PASO works with communities as partners, leaving installed capacities, generating businesses and employment under a cooperative model, and transforming them into promoters of sustainable development in their territories.
Working with collaborating communities to collectively create economic opportunities to leave the war behind, PASO has developed the Rural Alternative School (ERA) model that currently supports rural entrepreneurship in 22 locations in Colombia. Using the "learn by doing" method, the ERAs have become collaborative platforms in which communities receive tailor-made training and technical support, while working on their own productive projects, creating markets, building collective productive infrastructures and strengthening their organizations. .
Approximately 14,000 people have participated in projects supported by PASO Colombia since 2018: generating 2,368 jobs, more than $1.2 million in sales, and $215,000 in savings through food production for participating communities.
In addition to contributing to the sustainable development of the territories in which they operate, the most important achievement of the model developed by PASO is its success in helping to restore the social fabric of territories affected by decades of armed conflict. In 2020, when the independent company Cifras & Universos conducted its annual survey among ERA participants, 71% of community members responded that their trust in the reincorporated had improved as a result of their work in the ERAs. Similarly, 82% of them stated that their trust in community members has increased. Trust in PASO Colombia has improved for 89% of respondents, and for 61%, their trust in other NGOs has increased. Regarding local governments, 35% of the participants declared that their trust had increased and 20% towards the national government.
Combining local knowledge and permanent technical support, PASO promotes different practices so that productive projects are more profitable and environmentally friendly, prioritizing their sustainability and that of local resources from various aspects. Thanks to the use of organic fertilizers, bio-fertilizers, nurseries, the use of agricultural by-products and productive reforestation, the communities have complemented their productive activities and diversified their income, while protecting their environment.
Our model of building trust, markets, community and sustainable production has proven to be scalable throughout Colombia with different populations and peacebuilding projects. Get to know our projects and how to promote them with new alliances.