Every year thousands of families in Colombia are displaced from their homes and communities due to violence. They form resettlement camps where they can, often in undesirable locations due to lack of options. Mercy Corps makes it a priority to work with local communities to identify the challenges of living in such areas and create solutions, enabling community-led projects. But what does “community-led” really look like?
In the resettlement of Colombiatón, Mercy Corps has gathered a group of youth leaders and is teaching them about environmental awareness, community pride and how to be self-advocates. Mercy Corps staff provide them with guidance and knowledge, and help the youth coordinate projects like planting neighborhood fruit trees. The youth are taking ownership and action – making their communities cleaner and safer. These passionate young leaders are motivating the adults to get involved and showing los niños (the younger children) that life can be better.
They are working across neighborhood boundaries, supporting each other and strengthening inter-community relations. Watch this two-minute video to see what “community-led” looks like!