Hit a Home Run for Peace in Colombia Challenge
Let’s help prevent children recruitment in Colombia. At the end of last year the United Nations reported that 35 percent of the internally displaced people were children, affecting both urban and rural areas. “The UN verified 343 cases of recruitment and use of children by armed groups in 22 departments… On February 2015, FARC-EP announced that it had raised the recruitment age to 17 years”, stated the Children and Armed Conflict UN Office. Through the program Beisboleritos: My Life is a Diamond, the NGO Grupo Internacional de Paz tackles this issue with social innovation through sports.
Beisboleritos (little baseballers) began in Medellín in 2009 as an initiative to counter the presence of illegal groups affecting children and adolescents in Colombia. These children and adolescents become a target for illegal armed groups (guerrilla) through armed recruitment, making them child soldiers. Beisboleritos works in highly vulnerable communities to help children and adolescents develop and strengthen skills to resist and assertively respond to these threats.
Beisboleritos Challenge is a fundraising campaign to support the children in GIP’s program. Being September the month for peace, GIP designed a marathon campaign called “Hit a Home Run for Peace in Colombia”, from September 1st to 15th to collect $5,000 USD. Edgar Romero, Institutional Coordination at GIP says, “We have two objectives, the main one to fundraise, but our ambition is to challenge a professional baseball player from the MLB”. Romero says it has been difficult, “We have tried different ways, they would make a big difference if they write one message supporting our campaign with #HomeRunforPeace and mention our organization”. Romero is hopeful they would find a baseball player who would accept the challenge and is thankful for the support received so far $115 USD (September 4th).
GIP is an organization engaged in social transformation for peacebuilding, which employs innovative mechanisms to strengthen a person’s capacity, the community and society, to break the cycle of intergenerational violence in Colombia. Go to: bit.ly/ballpaz to learn more about their initiative and support their work.