Imagine peace between peoples: On the frontline in Colombia
“It’s just one violent situation after another. The people that I knew as children have now grown up to be victims,” said Sister Maria*, a Caritas worker on the frontline of a relentless war in Colombia. While many wars do end, giving an opportunity for peace to take root and grow, the war in Colombia has been going on for over forty years.
Working for a local Caritas in a southern Colombian town, Sister Maria deals with the people living this war who need help every day. They are people who have lost their homes because of the violence and need help finding shelter and enough money to live on. They are people who have been injured by landmines and need moral support and help with the legal system. They are people who need someone solid to lean on while they try to get their lives back on track.
“When you have a brother or sister who is in pain, you need to do something to give some relief,” said Sister Maria.
Compassion is essential for her to do her job well. Sister Maria fills up with sadness when she talks about the children who become victims of the war.
Caritas tries to help children express their fears with creative activities such as the making of masks that they can use to take part in role play, which gives a voice to emotions they might otherwise not be able to express.
The help of the international community is one way of bringing attention to the war in Colombia.
A high-level review into the vulnerability of Colombian internally displaced persons (IDPs) was facilitated by Caritas at the UN in New York with delegations from Caritas Colombia and CRS (a Caritas member in the USA).