The network of arts for peace chapters is helping heal communities around the world through programs of creative expression.
By Natalia Bonilla
With more than 40 clubs worldwide, MasterPeace is a grassroots global movement run by local NGOs and social enterprises supporting 4 of 17 UN Sustainable Development Goals by 2030: Quality Education (4), Gender Equality (5), Sustainable Cities and Communities and Peace (11), Justice and Strong Institutions (16)..
A long history of violence in Medellin, a city with incredible artists and forms of expression, to shift the local club’s focus to rebuilding the social fabric rather than just offering programs of self-expression.
«Trauma is suffered by the individual. Community leaders of the ‘comunas’ also need to heal personal traumas so they can help build collective mental peace,» MasterPeace Medellin Director Dur Montoya said in an interview.
Montoya recognizes «there are many types of peace in Colombia» which is why their efforts are not directly focused on the 2016 peace accord between the Colombian government and the FARC but rather on empowering local community leaders with psychological support and arts for peace tools to increase their social impact.
The hub is part of a major nationwide network in Colombia including cities like Bogota and Cali where other initiatives such as peace tours, readings for peace, bootcamps and training services for enterprises are offered.
In Mexico, a similar young business model is run by MasterPeace Mexico City Director Sofie de Wulf.
Born in Belgium, de Wulf moved to Mexico a couple of years ago and said in an interview, she found non-violent communication to be a solution to many of the present social problems in a country, known internationally for its macho culture and high rates of gender violence.
In fact, beyond venturing in a social innovation app Principia, to commemorate International Women’s Day 2019 the club launched a campaign from #SunrisetoSunset in which they trained employees from big companies such as Aeromexico and KPMG.
Last March, Aeromexico employees were trained with female residents of the «Peace Neighbourhood» Atlampa on non-violent communication and worked together on the drawing of a mural with the cooperation of Mexican Artist Eva Bracamontes.
The mural was based on the conclusions of the workshop.
MasterPeace’s motto is that «the world has 7 billion talents, not 7 billion issues» .
In over 9 years, the platform has created a large community of change makers, artists and individuals from different walks of life interested in learning, taking action and exploring how to achieve long-lasting peace in the communities they live in.
As clubs in Latin America are preparing for their biggest regional event of the year next September 21st (International Peace Day) in host country Colombia, the global leaders bootcamp will take place this October 7-13 in Monastir, Tunisia.
Be sure to check out the #9Wave #SDG4 campaign to be launched this month.
To learn more about other MasterPeace social impact initiatives worldwide or to start your own click here.
Photo Credits: Frank Cardenas, MasterPeace Mexico