Who we are
Civis is a Swedish non-profit organisation without political
or religious affiliation. It was founded in 1996 in Gothenburg, which
is also the seat of its headquarters. Civis has got two additional 'field'
offices in Colombia, one in Bogotá (since 2000) and one in Barrancabermeja
Civis supports civil society initiatives in conflict zones and promotes, in particular, young people's participation in the peace-building process.
The main objective of Civis and its work in Colombia is to contribute to the construction of a 'Peace Culture', based on values such as non-violence, civic participation and gender equality.
Civis' principal methodology is to combine theoretic knowledge with practical experience in order to strengthen civil society initiatives for peace and civic participation. All of Civis' work is based on the respect for and the guarantees of Human Rights.
Our mission is to create connections between different actors, thereby facilitating the exchange of knowledge, resources and political support, in order to contribute to the construction of a 'Peace Culture'.
Our objectives and priorities Cooperation 'in the field'
To support civil society initiatives that promote the political and social participation of marginalised members of society, in particular young people. Additionally, to help strengthening the institutional capacities of civil society organisations.
To promote political conditions that are beneficial for the achievement of a sustainable peace through coordinated action by Colombian, Swedish and other international organisations. This kind of Political Advocacy work seeks to make public the realities and challenges which societies in conflict face on a daily basis in order to secure more international support for peace-building efforts and the protection of Human Rights.
Peace Exchange Programmes
To contribute to the construction of a 'Peace Culture' through the accumulation and exchange of knowledge and 'best practice' experiences. It is Civis' aim to heighten people's awareness and strengthen their abilities to work for non-violence and the peaceful transformation of conflicts. The organisation of encounters and/or exchange programmes facilitates the dialogue between different civil society organisations, juvenile leaders, peace researchers, civil servants and politicians.
What we do
Civis' work is based on the mutual exchange between its activities and experiences in Sweden and Colombia. The Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (SIDA) has been Civis' main donor since the beginning, but we also receive funding from other sources.
Activities in Sweden
The different areas of work that we conduct in Sweden are as follows:
To facilitate the divulgation of theoretic and methodological experiences regarding peace research between universities and/or experts in Sweden and Colombia. " To promote political conditions, in Sweden as well as at the European level, that are favourable towards the achievement of peace in Colombia through Advocacy work conducted by networks such as OIDH-ACO (Organización Internacional de Derechos Humanos - Acción Colombia), Colombia Group (a network of Swedish NGOs interested in Colombia) and other Swedish and/or international civil society networks interested in Colombia, Human Rights and peace. " To generate interest, knowledge/understanding and solidarity between the Swedish and the Colombian society - in particular, with regard to Swedish and Colombian youths - through our information and values-based education efforts in both countries.
Activities and civil society initiatives in Colombia
We support a number of civil society initiatives in Bogotá, Cali, Medellín, the Magdalena Medio region and at the national level through the following projects and programmes:
Educational Programme on 'Peace Culture' - national level:
Its objective is to contribute to the construction of a 'Peace Culture' which is based on the respect for Human Rights, democracy, tolerance and gender equality. The programme aims to capacitate and thus strengthen civil society organisations and individuals involved in peace-building, conflict transformation, mediation and communication efforts regarding non-violence.
Network on Urban Conflict and Youth - national level:
The network aims to promote both reflection and action on the relations that exist between urban conflicts and youth. It intends to contribute to a better policy-making (on youth and conflict-related matters) through coordinated efforts at both the national and international level.
Corporación Juan Bosco (CJB) - in: Cali, the district of Aguablanca and the municipality of Jamundí:
The CJB contributes to the consolidation process of an organised youth structure with an emphasis on the capacitation of 'social subjects' (as opposed to passive 'objects') who actively work towards the fulfilment of their Human (and civic) Rights. Furthermore, CJB is helping to establish - along with governmental entities, NGOs and youth groups - a kind of local Ombudsman for juvenile matters.
Instituto Popular de Capacitación (IPC) - in: Medellín:
The IPC conducts an educational assessment/consulting programme on school violence as well as 'Human Rights and Democracy in schools', which is set in four different sectors of Medellín and the department of Antioquia.
Corporación Obusinga and the Youth Network of the Magdalena Medio - Magdalena Medio region:
The project 'Development of Juvenile Identities in the Magdalena Medio region' seeks to promote the protection and recognition of young people as citizens with rights through their personal development and training, and through Political Advocacy work by the regional Youth Network. One essential part of this project, which is situated in one of Colombia's most violent and conflict-ridden regions, is the protection of the youth involved and violence prevention in general.
Asociación de Trabajo Interdisciplinario (ATI) - national level:
ATI's objective is to promote different 'social resistance' movements in Colombia through direct work with four peaceful local resistance movements, educational work shops, exchange programmes and public debates on matters concerning the war, violence and social exclusion. By means of its activities, ATI tries to recuperate and maintain the so-called 'local memory' and 'collective actions' of the local communities. It also aims to make these local experiences and 'best practices' more readily available to other resistance movements (in the making) as a form of alternative self-determination.
Medellín Youth Network:
The Medellín Youth Network is active on matters such as education, investigation (on youth and their rights as citizens, for example), legal help (especially concerning forced recruitment by the armed forces) and information/advocacy efforts on juvenile and Human Rights. The Network's aim is to raise public awareness and understanding towards different forms and styles of how young people express themselves (culturally, socially and politically), and to visibilise the different types and levels of how juvenile and Human Rights are being violated in Medellín and at the regional/national level.
Small Grants Programme - in: Bogotá and Barrancabermeja (+ surroundings):
The Small Grants Programme has its origin in Civis' desire to support small youth organisations, which are still in their beginnings, in order to strengthen their capacities to actively participate in local decision- and policy-making and thus be recognised as 'actors' and not just mere 'objects' in both the social and political arena.
www.analisispolitico.edu.co (Análisis Político)
www.abcolombia.org.uk (Colombia This Week)
www.actualidadcolombiana.org (Actualidad Colombiana)
Fundación Ideas para la Paz
Fundación Seguridad y Democracia
Iniciativa de Mujeres Colombianas por la Paz (Colombian Women's Peace Initiative) www.mujeresporlapaz.org
Internacional Crisis Group
Amnesty International Colombia
Peace Brigades International (PBI) - Colombia http://www.peacebrigades.org/colombia.html
The UN office of Human Rights in Colombia
The UN Refugee Agency in Colombia
The UN office on Drugs and Crime
The UN office of Development
Organización Nacional de Indígena de Colombia
International Centre of Transitional Justice (Colombia) http://www.ictj.org/en/where/region2/514.html
Colombia Forum, Uppsala Universitet http://www.kus.uu.se/sv/activities/2_1_colombia_forum.shtml
Centro de Investigación y Educación Popular - CINEP
Centro de Recursos para el Análisis de Conflictos - CERAC
Construcción de Paz en Colombia, Universidad de los Andes http://postconflicto.uniandes.edu.co/
Information about Colombia:
413 04 Göteborg