by Luz Stella Camacho
Creators of Peace and Agape por Colombia teamed up to hold a Creators of Peace Circle in Meta, Villavicencio. Combining philosophies and techniques used by both organizations, they brought healing and a new beginning to the women who took part.
"Since I went to CoP encounter has changed my life. Now I am able to say and do many things that I was not able to say before because of fear and shame. I am practicing it in my daily life. I handed the letter to my niece and the relationship was close again ... Now I do not feel guilty for making others responsible for their lives."
- Ester Aragón
On several occasions, we, members of Initiatives of Change Colombia, attended Agape por Colombia meetings to listen to their stories. The organization’s mission is to support the victims of the war in Colombia, particularly former child soldiers, and to mend the country’s torn social fabric. We were inspired, and thus decided to create a Peace Circle with the women who attended those encounters. Lucia, who works as a volunteer at Agape too, invited women from one of the areas most affected by the violence in Colombia: Meta. The Peace Circle was held in December, in the capital of Meta, Villavicencio, and was facilitated by Lucia and myself.
During this rich experience, we and the ten women who took part in the Peace Circle shared our dreams and reflected on our purpose in life. The women managed to go deep with this beautiful and powerful CoP tool to open up and heal resentment. With body work exercises and conscious breathing, as a complimentary methodology, the women were also able to get in touch with their memories, accept them, and release them.
They also shared stories of deep wounds within their families: father, mother, brothers, children, relatives. The women were open and supportive of one another, and within that environment many were able to acknowledge that they themselves were repeating the violence they had experienced in their childhoods and in their own homes. They therefore committed themselves to three goals to change their attitude in their immediate environment and apply the values of courage, love and power in their daily lives.
The ladies expressed their interest in being Creators of Peace in their communities. They felt that this experience transformed their relationships with themselves and others and created a haven of peace in their hearts. Some expressed the desire for support to be able to help more women as CoP helped them.
"I learned to forgive myself first the hatred and anger with myself and then those people who one day caused me harm. Know how to take everything on the right path so that nothing happens again."
I have reconciled with many people and there is more union with the family. Now I understand my mom better and I give her my consent."
The alliance between CoP and Agape was an enriching one for us all. We are very grateful to have been able to live such an experience. We hope that more joint projects like this will ensue, planting seeds of reconciliation and forgiveness in Colombia.