The Mayor of Bolivar’s office approved a program to allow Bogota-based facilitators to give Basic, Advanced and Facilitator Training workshops to afro-descendant communities, victims of violence, indigenous communities, LGBT communities, and disabled staff in Bolivar, a neighborhood in Bogota known for high violence rates, from January to March 2016.
This alliance with the Mayor’s office, which is the most important governmental entity after the national government, will hopefully lead to future AVP program funding. Based on the performance and impact of these workshops, the Mayor’s office has already discussed approving funds to do Community Based Trauma Healing workshops in the same communities.
For Wil Benitez, an AVPer from Bogota who spearheaded the grant request, “this is the opportunity to give us wide scale attention”.
“My intention is to utilize this moment that they have given to us for AVP to gain a name and be taken into account in this process of post-conflict [peacemaking]…This first contract with the state can open many more opportunities for other communities in the country.”
In addition to making a video and an official document, Benitez will work with a Community Manager in order to design and create a website for PAV Colombia and do outreach on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
“Even though we don’t have the budget for this, we desire to make the effort and publicize,” said Benitez, who believes greater outreach and publicity will help bring more funds in later on.