BOGOTA, April 16, 2012 – Colombia’s Mi Sangre (My Blood) Foundation, led by celebrity singer Juanes, and the World Bank, through its Director for Colombia and Mexico, Gloria M. Grandolini, subscribed a Memorandum of Understanding today with the intention of coordinating the efforts of both institutions, thus promoting education for peace.
According to Juan Esteban Aristizabal (Juanes), founder of Mi Sangre, this is a very valuable partnership, given the expertise and technical support of an organization such as the World Bank.
“Through the Mi Sangre Foundation, I have been able to meet many young people, friends and colleagues who are able to establish bonds and feel responsible for their community, their history and building their own future. Through art, many boys, girls and youngsters are able to transcend the violent situation in their neighborhoods and improve their lives,” Juan Esteban stated. “The weapons they use are microphones, guitars, spray cans... through them they express their dreams, their view of the current situation and their proposals. I believe in them. With Mi Sangre I have seen the other side of the conflict, and because of this, I am convinced that the new generations carry with them an immense transformative power, and that it is worth investing in them,” he concluded.
This agreement seeks to establish a relationship of mutual learning based on shared lessons and methodologies that can then be extended and copied in Colombia and abroad.
“The situation faced by boys, girls and young people in Colombia serves as an urgent warning sign that we need to work towards creating protected spaces where that can develop social skills, create networks and have access to complementary activities outside school,” said Gloria M. Grandolini, World Bank Director for Mexico and Colombia. “The World Bank recognizes the power of music and art to transform the lives of young people impacted by violence. Music and art are instruments that build peace through and within education,” she added.
Some of the activities to be undertaken include analyzes of education for peace campaigns; recruitment prevention through art and culture; development of instruments to talk to potential donors; systematization of the Foundation’s experience, using the methodology developed by the Alliance of Education for the Construction of a Peace Culture; and the organization of a national forum on education for peace through art and culture, among others.
The signing of this agreement exemplifies a novel collaborative approach that includes key actors involved in the construction of development solutions.