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Foundation Jean-François Peterbroeck
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Paz y Arte

Psychosocial support and peace education through theatre

2017 till 2019
Municipalité de San Rafael , Colombia


In Colombia, the violence of armed conflicts is one of the bloodiest in contemporary Latin American history. Armed conflicts have claimed 8,307,777 victims up to March 1st 2018 (RNI – National Information Network). The rural areas and their inhabitants were the most affected by this violence.
According to the National Centre for Historical Memory report “¡Basta Ya!”, situations of violence impact the lives of people and communities because they transform the feeling of security and “provoke a crisis in beliefs, relationships and, in general, in all aspects that are a source of meaning and support for existence”. One of the most significant impacts at a personal level is the deterioration of self-esteem, which manifests itself in the inability to decide for oneself, to relate to others, to set goals and dreams for the future, thus increasing an attitude of dependence.


The project intends to reach 23 children aged 7-12 and 54 young adults aged 12-18, all living in San Rafael.
In 2018 and 2019, a group of 23 mothers also benefited from the project’s support.


Paz y Arte est un projet d’accompagnement psychosocial à partir de l’art. L’objectif est de contribuer à la construction de la paix avec les victimes directes et indirectes du conflit armé et ce à partir d’une formation humaine par l’art qui apporte aux bénéficiaires en renforcement de leurs compétences personnelles, relationnelles et sociales.

Ainsi, à travers des activités de théâtre, le projet entend favoriser chez les enfants et chez les jeunes la reconnaissance et le développement de leur potentiel personnel, faciliter la reconnaissance et l’expression d´émotions, en particulier d´émotions difficiles associées aux séquelles du conflit armé, promouvoir des stratégies de pardon et de résilience pour dépasser les circonstances traumatiques vécues, promouvoir entre les participants des relations pacifiques, éthiques et démocratiques et accompagner les participants dans le début d´une construction d´un projet de vie éthique.


4 groups were accompanied:
With the 3 groups of children and young adults, the Proyectarte team carried out a human formation through theatre. The children and young adult had the opportunity to tell their lives through theatrical exercises and construct different plays, which were presented to the community of San Rafael. In this process, they remarkably strengthened their self-confidence, expression of feelings, friendship and teamwork skills. They also improved the way they relate to each other.

With the group of mothers, plastic arts were used. They were given the opportunity to recount very painful episodes in their lives, marked by the loss of their land, the murder of family members and forced displacement. All of them expressed the great importance of this space to “heal the wounds of their soul” and to find the strength to move forward. Their participation also helped them to communicate better with their children.



I used to suffer a lot because of everything we had to go through. I was thinking about revenge and I discovered that this rage was like a burning inferno that I was carrying in my hands. When I was able to recognise this, I felt calmer. I felt had to be reborn and continue to live.
Read the full testimony


The memory that the war has left in our territory is a painful one. As young adults, we are not yet aware of the importance of reconstructing it, and yet it is fundamental because those that do not know their history are condemned to repeat it. Proyectarte's "Paz y Arte" project allows us to know the history of our region and to give it a new meaning.
Read the full testimony

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