Global Alumni collaboration in Colombia bears fruit

By training local partners around the world in Fight for Peace’s methodology, the Global Alumni Programme (GAP) generates impact in communities far beyond our Rio de Janeiro and London Academies. A key byproduct of the programme is the collaboration among local partners within the Network stemming from a six day GAP training course held in Brazil.

Four local partners in Cali, Colombia are currently reaping the benefits of such collaboration as they share resources, sports trainers and coordination tools across their organisational structures in an alliance known as Cali Alianza por la Paz.

Key to the success of the collaboration is the combat sports programme (boxing, karate or judo), which, in combination with personal development sessions, has been incorporated into the work of each of the partner organisations since their return from Rio.

“The implementation of Karate in our work with vulnerable youth allowed us to recognise the power of combat sports as a tool that strengthens the self-esteem, self-worth, and the establishment of relationships based on respect and discipline”, explains Oswaldo Bermudez, Project Coordinator for Fundación Paz y Bien, a Cali Alianza por la Paz organisation.

Alliance members Corporation for Sport and Recreation, Fundación SIDOC, Fundación Paz y Bien and Fundación Carvajal all operate in areas of Cali notorious for high indices of crime and violence, which affect resident young people. In particular, peace in these communities is under constant threat from territorial disputes between rival drug factions.

Cali Alianza por la Paz is already bearing fruit; in an initial evaluation of the pilot, young participants in the Alliance’s programmes reported improvements in their confidence, communication skills, discipline, personal organisation, social skills, family relationships and physical health.

Carolina Velasquez, Fight for Peace Trainer and Consultant, highlighted the success of the project. “It was great to see how, after coming back from Rio, the four Cali organisations began to coordinate and work together, our contribution was to facilitate the discussions and develop the tools for monitoring their work. We know this is just the beginning of something bigger at the city level”, Carolina said.

In celebration of the pilot and its achievements, and in conjunction with a show by the Cali Boxing League, 70 young people from all four partners came together at the end of 2015 to share their experiences and aspirations. Through continued collaboration, Cali Alianza por la Paz promises to further develop its links and support more and more young people to reach their potential.