CONTEMPLATIVE PEACEBUILDING IN COLOMBIA
The Need for Creative Tools for Peacebuilding in Colombia: Colombia has recently made unprecedented progress towards ending one of the longest armed conflicts in the world, entering a peacebuilding process which includes the reintegration of ex-combatants into society. However, psychosocial support is currently a small though critical component for ex-combatant reintegration.
Contemplative Peacebuilding in Colombia is a project being led by Brown University researchers in collaboration with the Fundación Zen Montaña de Silencio (FZMS), a Colombian non-profit foundation dedicated to teaching contemplative practice in Colombia, using contemplative practices like meditation in the service of healing and peacebuilding in Colombia.
Our mission for this project is to deliver and evaluate a program using contemplative practices for psychosocial support with FARC-EP (The Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia—People's Army) ex-combatants in the demilitarization process in Colombia. Over the past year, we have developed a curriculum for this program and over the next two years we will work in Medellin, Colombia with the FZMS to deliver, refine, and test the efficacy of this framework through a combination of qualitative, behavioral, and physiological research methodologies. Through this process, our research findings and a refined framework manual will be published for use in Colombia and in other global peacebuilding contexts.
By the end of this research, the Fundación Zen Montaña de Silencio will be the first to fully integrate the framework into their core programming. As FARC-EP ex-combatants complete our program, they will be given the opportunity to begin training to become teachers for the program. If the program is successful, they will be able to continue running it through the Fundación Zen Montaña de Silencio and they will be invited to lead in its dissemination to FARC-EP ex-combatants in other Colombian regions as well as with other combatant groups in Colombia.