Five new persons just joined the project of PBI Colombia. they come from Mexico, Spain, Argentina and the Netherlands to accompany Human Rights Defenders that are being threaten because of their work, here in Colombia.
Here we introduce them to you:
Barbara Orozco Diaz, Spain
I have always been fascinated by the way in which human beings create ‘societies’ that live in peace and harmony, or the opposite, and in my search for non-violent and free co-existence, I find more answers in diverse, multicultural collectives.
I learned about Colombia during my studies, but without a doubt, I learned more about its contemporary history with my friends from different parts of the world who shared their experiences with me in Spain. It was back then, some years ago, that a good friend of mine from Colombia told me about PBI.
The project gave me hope and I identified with its values, because not only does it open up space for peace, space in which human rights defenders can carry out their work, it does this from the perspective of building human relationships, starting with its diverse, multicultural, multi-disciplinary and non-hierarchical way of organising.
I just hope that I have enough skills to live up to what is needed from me and to PBI’s more than two decades of experience of in Colombia.
Carla Susana Martínez Báez, Mexico
Hello! My name is Carla Susana and I come from the warm, northern part of Mexico.
For me, being a brigadista in PBI opens a doorway to the possibility of seeing and believing that another kind of world is being built, and that a world in which everyone is taken into account is not an impossible dream.
I am now seeing this through the eyes of the people of Colombia who are struggling to end oppression, discrimination and disrespect, with patience and resistance, showing that it is possible to walk towards a peaceful future and live in a fair and equitable way.
Before you come here you try to prepare yourself, you get up early, read, study, ask questions, but, above all, you prepare your heart because at the end of the day, your suitcase is not full of clothes, it is full of hope.
Inge van der Spek, Netherlands
I first heard about PBI in 2016, when I travelled to Colombia as a tourist. Before I left the country I wanted to know more about social projects here and that was when I found PBI Colombia’s website. On the trip with my brother, I fell in love with this beautiful country and I promised myself that one day I would come back. And now I am here, back in this beautiful country as part of a really important and inspiring project. I feel fortunate to be part of PBI Colombia for many reasons. I have wanted for a long time to contribute to respect for human rights outside of my country, however, it was difficult to find a project in which I could see a clear role for me as a foreigner. With PBI I believe that I can really contribute as a foreigner in an ethical way which does not interfere in the situation here in Colombia. I also believe that it will be a really interesting experience living and working in a non-hierarchical way, in a world which does not generally operate in this way. I am really looking forward to starting work in my team in Barrancabermeja and I am sure that I will really learn a lot in the next year and a half.
Laura Carrasco, Mexico
Hello! My name is Laura Carrasco Gutiérrez and I come from Mexico.
I heard about PBI because of its accompaniment to NGOs in my country of origin. Now that I am at the point of joining the team in Bogotá, I am excited to be part of a project that works non-hierarchically and offers comprehensive accompaniment, taking into account the self-determination and autonomy of the people we accompany, as well as their resilience, from an inter-sectional perspective.
I understand the scope of international accompaniment, and so my main motivation and interest is to be able to contribute to the safety and defence of space for human rights defenders and journalists, who peacefully and courageously struggle every day for peace, truth, land and justice.
Jessica García, Argentina
My name is Jessica and I am from Argentina. I heard about PBI at the end of 2017, when I came back from a trip to Palestine, in which I also participated as a volunteer in an organisation that accompanies communities living under occupation. After this experience I wanted to get to know other civil society organisations that support peace processes from a non-violent standpoint and that was how I found PBI and its project in Colombia.
Ever since I found out about the project in Colombia and its non-hierarchical way of working I have wanted to be part of it. Now I have been in the country for two weeks and I am part of PBI! I am really happy about it and I can´t wait to get to Barrancabermeja to start the next year and a half as a field volunteer. I hope that our work continues to enable space to open up for civil society peace building.
Welcome to them!