Peace, justice and livelihoods at Colombia-Ecuador border
Supporting a Franciscan network in its work to love, defend and engage the very poor for the strengthening of their rights and improvements of their lives (Implemented by Movimiento Franciscano por la Paz; Nominator: Jael Mercedes Duarte)
This initiative is set at the border between Colombia and Ecuador (departments of Nariño, Putumayo, Carchi and Imbabura), a land inhabited by peasant and indigenous peoples (Pastos, Awá, Ingas and Kamsá). In the last 20 years, the Franciscan Movement for Peace has supported some of these peoples to revitalise their local organizations and culture, linking environmental, spiritual and development objectives. Local organising is based upon small groups that nourish local spaces for exchange and learning— about ancestral values and Franciscan spirituality as much as about healthy means of production, nutrition, natural medicine and local handicrafts. Only such an integrally different lifestyle can hope to withstand and resist the culture of violence, hunger, drug trafficking and death that permeates the region…
The thinking of liberation theology and Franciscan spirituality encourage the people towards such a different life project, weaving together spirituality and the love of peace with healthy and sustainable productive aims (agro-ecology, handicrafts), critical consciousness and the defence of human rights (analyses and monitoring through a Human Rights Observatory), alternative forms of organisation and resistance, and the development of a solidarity economy through Savings and Loans schemes following the Jardin Azuayo model of Ecuador. All such components will be supported by the initiative through a series of meetings, exchange visits and training activities and through a very small seed fund for the Savings and Loans.