Last Tuesday on February 4th, 2020, our team at Nuestro Flow visited the municipality of Macaio in the department of La Guajira with the idea of providing a series of workshops to address ethnic and cultural differences as well as to discuss discriminatory stereotypes with girls and boys aged approximately between eight and ten years old. The provision of these activities was made possible thanks to the support of the United States’ government through the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) and the non-profit organization, ACDI-VOCA, which emphasizes the need for civil society’s active participation and the empowerment of Colombian communities through education.
Sensibilization and formation workshops are but one of the services offered by Nuestro Flow. They have an average duration of four and five hours and encourage the active participation and creativity of girls and boys through the provision of playful pedagogical tools. By thinking on the importance of getting involved in thematic activities related to diversity, education, gender equality, intersectionality, discrimination and racism, which are made evident by normalized language and narratives, Nuestro Flow created a series of characters who together form la Liga de la Diversidad Étnica (the Ethnic Diversity League). The League regroups three young girls and two young boys who represent the ethnic and cultural diversity of Colombia: Candelaria, an afro-descendent heroine from Nuquí, Chocó; Jacinto, a hero from San Basilio de Palenque, Bolívar; Livingston, a hero from San Andrés and Providencia; Kali, a Romani heroine born in Popayán, Cauca and Auka, an Indigenous heroine from the Muisca community in Bosa, Cundinamarca.
Through these characters, Nuestro Flow encourages the transformation of our daily language and introduces notions of diversity to boys and girls from remote territories and zones of Colombia. The end goal is to construct new narratives to re-invent the world in which we live by making young children aware of the positive power of differences. Through the Ethnic Diversity League, young boys and girls feel seen and are encouraged to get involved in activities that seek to highlight self-recognition and the increased visibility of Colombia’s ethnic diversity.
The workshops that took place in Maicao from February 4th to February 14th, 2020 were lead by Mónica Borray and Alejandra Hernández, two members of Nuestro Flow’s work team, and gathered the participation of nearly 250 girls and boys, students at Maria Colombia, Paraíso, Pipamana and Emanual Rosada primary schools.
Nuestro Flow, a social enterprise directed by Andrea and Mabel González, aims to continue implementing these educational workshops throughout Colombia’s national territory to keep contributing to education from the standpoint of ethnic and cultural diversity.