Situation


The peace agreement put an end to a conflict that lasted more than half a century, left more than 260,000 dead, more than 60,000 missing and some 7.4 million internally displaced. Nevertheless, violence persists against human rights defenders and leaders of indigenous communities. As part of the peace agreement, a “system of justice, truth, reparation and non-repetition”, including a special jurisdiction for peace, has been put in place  In Magangué, the Atucsara organization works with displaced populations. Its purpose: to enable displaced people to recreate an organized social network, to claim their rights, to meet their basic needs. With the creation of a school for peace, Atucsara is also working very actively with the community for the success of this process. Located in the north of the country, along the Magdalena River, this city is the largest in the province after Cartagena and has a large number of displaced people. Poverty and social inequalities, but especially violence and lack of public infrastructure are the main issues identified. Young people are a favourite prey for the recruitment by micro-trafficking gangs into illegal activities. These data have not changed in Magangué, where the micro-trafficking sites remain numerous. Since December 2004 Atucsara counts with the support of Vivere for the nutritional component. This support is integrated into the overall community support project that Atucsara is carrying out with the support of the friendly association CATLEYA. This project is being developed in 2017 in 5 vulnerable communities. In Yati and Nueva Colombia, where activities were carried out during 10 years by Atucsara, the lead is now left to the instructors and women promoters, maintaining supervision and continuing education. In Santa Fe and La Peña the actions started 3 years ago; monitors play a coordination role in children’s activities. Barranca Yuca is a new intervention district. The school and the youth of this district carry the development activities. Young people implement integration and citizen participation strategies to prevent the influence of gangs, delinquency and micro-trafficking in their community. The children who benefited from canteens since the beginning of the project are now young leaders and are actively working at the School for Peace.

Objectives


Nutritional assistance to particularly vulnerable children in neighbourhoods of Nueva Colombia, Yati, La Peña, Santa Fe and Barranca Yuca 170 children at-risk have one meal a day in the canteen, and 70 children have an enhanced snack. Local partner: Atucsara Asso.

Achievements


Four school canteens are run by women’s associations in community centers – Yati and Nueva Colombia – or housed in the house of a local woman – La Peña and Barranca Yuca, the latter opened in March 2017. The nutritional supplement was able to benefit children from Santa Fe and participants in awareness sessions, dance and music. Children aged 5-14 have improved their nutritional status: out of 180 beneficiaries of nutritional support from the canteens, 155 have reached a normal weight. They were able to participate in the project activities, including school reinforcement, dance, sports, values education and 170 of them improved their school results. These actions are always conducted in a precarious security situation (young people, the community and the Atucsara team always facing the risk of violence, threats and aggression) and in the absence of state involvement but with a growing involvement from the community.