One wonders if peace talks in the marginalized urban areas of Colombia are a reality or possibility. Whilst the national government is negotiating with the largest movement of armed guerrilla movement in Colombia (FARC) hope is uncertain for the nation. However, for those living in urban areas called `marginalized areas,’ the Havana talks should be of great significance as the scale of urban violence seems to be increasing. In Cali barrios (neighbourhoods) such as Siloe, Retiro, Puerta del Sol and Potrero, violent gangs are common and often have violent wars over territories and the infamous invisible lines. To address these social problems some organizations have been working tirelessly, because they see the potential and importance of youth in the city, and that these youth also play a significant role in the peace processes.
Last year, Godoy Cruz Cali (a football team which was founded in 2011 with the goal of reaching youth in marginalized areas of Cali through sport), facilitated workshops on social responsibility and peacebuilding and non-violent conflict resolution in urban contexts. Sigifredo Godoy the founder of the foundation said the first peace talks are in one`s self and he suggested that Colombia’s peace begins with youth initiatives and they do not have to wait for the peace talks in Havana Cuba. He stated that the first step would be for them to peace pledges to their communities and be socially productive through decent, ethical and respectful ways. In September 2014 during the Godoy Cruz celebration of Pan y Paz, 50 youths made pledges for peace and nonviolence. At the end of the celebration the participants recited the St. Francis of Assisi for prayer for peace. As the nation waits for the Colombian peace talks our prayer is that God will use to young people in urban areas of Colombia as peacemakers. Pray for the youth and children.
Make me an instrument of peace
-by San Francisco.
Lord, make me an instrument of Thy peace;
Where there is hatred, let me sow love;
Where there is injury, pardon;
Where there is doubt, the faith;
Where there is despair, hope;
Where there is darkness, light;
And where there is sadness, joy.
O Divine Master, Grant that I may not so much seek to be consoled, as to console;
To be understood, as to understand;
To be loved as to love.
For it is in giving that we receive;
It is in pardoning that we are pardoned;
And it is in dying that we are born to eternal life.