We offer a warm welcome to our four new field brigadistas who will accompany human rights defenders and organizations from the Apartado, Barrancabermeja and Bogota Teams
«For us, Peace Brigades International is a space for individual and collective learning, where we will have the chance to make a commitment of solidarity to accompany different human rights defenders. They are the people who know what is most needed by the groups and communities they accompany, the ones who are suffering on the front line of socio-political violence. As brigadistas, we will strive to create spaces for the defence of human rights in the face of socio-political violence, accompanying from our own learning, experiences and skills, from the principles of non-violence, horizontality, non-partisanship and international character. During the training process we have been very well looked after and welcomed by the team in Bogota, and each one of us is moving on to our field teams full of strength and energy».
The marshes are bodies of water that are essential to the ecosystem, bodies of water which give life to extraordinary flora and fauna. These natural phenomena also attract economic interests that threaten to damage them, even to make them disappear, as is the case with the rivers and marshes of Magdalena Medio. In this region, full of water and environmental defenders, extractive activities, agribusiness and extensive cattle ranching are advancing, devastating in their path territories inhabited by ancestral communities, in the case of Sur de Bolívar especially Afro-Colombian peoples, peasants and artisanal fishermen.
We are all in a continuous dialogue with our surroundings, everything that happens around us generates a response in our thoughts, emotions, and sensations. These are like speakers, indicating if we require warmth, are thirsty, or need to place limits in the face of something uncomfortable. Sensations and emotions are our first source of input to make ourselves feel well. Humans are far from machines that can do anything,we are vulnerable beings. This means that we are bodies that become ill, can learn, wake up with energy, and go to bed tired, we laugh, fall in love, get hungry or cold, we need hugs and to be listened to, we die. This vulnerability is not synonymous with weakness. On the contrary, it makes us into living beings that are connected to the ecosystem and with knowledge of our lives and the capacity to decide what we needed.
We offer a warm welcome to our seven new field brigadistas who collectively reflected on their arrival
“As new volunteers, we have finished the selection process and initial training to join our field teams. Even though this means that the group that arrived together had to divide up, we have stayed in contact, talking about our different integration experiences, the diversity of perspectives we have, and how we are building relationships with the people we accompany and our teammates. The group has shown a common interest in and commitment to accompanying and learning from the people, organizations, and communities that defend human rights and have been accompanied by PBI over the last 28 years”.