As a law school student, I volunteered to sit in on court hearings for domestic violence victims. The presence of observers helped to ensure the victims felt safe and supported, as well as helped to provide protection against harsh treatment at the hands of judges and law enforcement. This year I had the pleasure of being invited to join the board of FOR Peace Presence, an organization based in Bogota, Colombia that provides much-needed accompaniment to individuals and communities facing threats of violence.
Armed conflict and political violence are everyday concerns for FORPP's partners in Colombia, but the physical presence of international observers provided by the FORPP deters perpetrators of such violence. What does this look like on the ground? FORPP team members live in and accompany members of a peace community or travel to communities threatened by paramilitaries. Their presence as international supporters ensures activists and organizers feel safe to continue their work in building sustainable economies and communities, and that individuals with violent intentions know that the international community is watching.
I hope that you will join me in supporting this great organization. Just $10 funds one week of lodging for a team of 2 observers while they are accompanying the Afro-Colombian Humanitarian Space in Buenaventura.
Will you provide the funds for an international observer for a community for one week?
To learn more about accompaniment and the importance of international observers, please check out the rest of the FORPP website.