Accelerating Peace: The new Pasos Libres program that seeks to accelerate peacebuilding initiatives in Colombia
On October 28, the first Cohort of Young Peacebuilders successfully concluded Accelerating Peace, a new Pasos Libres program funded by the U.S. Embassy that seeks to contribute to accelerating the growth of initiatives of young peacebuilders in Colombia by strengthening their entrepreneurial skills and establishing partnerships with local and U.S. companies based on the principles of Corporate Social Responsibility.
The program received 81 applications from young peacebuilders, of which 28 young people from Quibdó, Granada, Bogotá, El Carmen de Bolívar, Aguazul, Cartagena, Piedecuesta, Galapa, Popayán, Baranoa, Ibagué, Planadas, Villavicencio, Guachucal, La Montañita, Barranquilla, Tuluá, and Cali, were selected to participate.
The first version of the program included training and online mentoring, a portfolio that compiles the participants’ initiatives, and a Demo Day. The online training covered 11 sessions and mentoring on corporate social responsibility and peace, validation techniques, theory of change, impact measurement and reporting, product development, financing, and pilot models. On the other hand, at the Demo Day, held in person in Bogotá, the participants presented their initiatives to 10 leaders from the Social Responsibility Areas of Homecenter, Bavaria, Movistar, PepsiCo, PwC, Luker Chocolate, Johnson & Johnson and Vanti, and 2 representatives of the U.S. Embassy in Colombia.
During the Demo Day, the participants had the opportunity to connect with the leaders of the invited companies’ social responsibility areas and receive feedback and recommendations to strengthen and expand their initiatives. Likewise, this was a scenario where companies could identify opportunities for collaboration with young people, organizations, and initiatives from different regions of the country.
Now, the young participants, who are committed to building peace from areas as diverse as art, architecture, education, agriculture, entrepreneurship, and technology, have the opportunity to consolidate partnerships with the companies they met during the Demo Day. The potential collaborations, framed in the participating companies’ social responsibility and sustainability strategies, include consulting, corporate volunteering, funding, technological support, donations, and supply contracts.
In collaboration with the U.S. Embassy and Corporate Social Responsibility Areas in Colombia, Pasos Libres seeks to consolidate Accelerating peace as an annual program and contribute to accelerating the growth of hundreds of youth-led peacebuilding initiatives throughout the country.
For more information about Accelerating peace, visit: https://fundacionpasoslibres.org/acceleratingpeace/