This year's project supports youth in Colombia

Colombia has struggled with internal conflicts for a long time. A civil war which started in the 60’s is still ongoing, and has left its mark. Youth say it feels like they’re living in a war zone. Colombia is also one of the most dangerous countries to be a human rights activist in. Almost half of all activists that were killed last year were from Colombia. Some were as young as 14 years old. It takes courage to fight for what you believe in in Colombia. Many of those who want to make a change get threatened or killed. For those who are left, the battle becomes even harder to fight.

This year’s project wants to help youth so that they can stand against recruitment and fight for a better future. Together with SAIH and four youth movements in Colombia we will:

1. Support youth organisations that give youth alternatives to violence.

Youth organisations stand on the frontline. They work for their rights, and that youth won’t be taken out of their everyday lives to bear arms and become criminals. They do this by providing alternatives to violence, among other things. Meeting places will give young people something to look forward to during the day. There, they can do activities in sport, art and culture, while also receiving training in conflict resolution. By giving them a place they can belong to, and activities that bring them joy, it becomes easier to find meaning in everyday life and resist the pressure from the criminal groups

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2. Youth shall be better equipped to resist recruitment.

A life filled with violence and crime affects mental health and creates trauma. Because of this, the project also focuses on the psychological. This is done through trauma treatment, courses in life skills, and support groups for youth at risk, among other things. These are also gonna be held by youth, for youth, because by leaning on each other they create a safe network. Because having a place where they can seek help and support - that provides safety to stand against the violence.

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3. Youth will receive the knowledge and skills to influence politicians.

For a long time, Colombian youth have had little influence in the politics and decisions that affect their lives. They wish to change this. Young people must receive leadership training and be taught about political influence and their rights. Then they will be able to create change, both in the local community and on a broader scale. In addition, they will map the connection between lack of education and recruitment to crime. This would mean that the government has to take the problem more seriously, and let more people get the education they deserve.

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How to support Operation Day's Work?

On the ODW-day on the 2nd of November, you can make a difference. Young people all over Norway will use one day of their education to create a fairer future. As a student, you can work on something you think is fun and cool, while you raise money for a good cause. As an employee/grown up, you can support by hiring youth that wishes to work on the ODW-day. The recommended minimum price for a student in secondary school is NOK 350, for a student in high school NOK 450. The payment is made at with Vipps, card or invoice.

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