There are two main ways of getting involved in the Colombia Solidarity Campaign in the UK:
- Through joining our facebook group https://www.facebook.com/Colombia-Solidarity-Campaign-168664289837542/
- As part of a working group on a specific issue.
Before you read on, we would love you to join the campaign as we are a membership organization and really rely on support, solidarity and contact with our people in the UK. Please email us for details…
Each of our specific campaigns and areas of activity has a corresponding working group. Campaign members are welcome to volunteer to become involved a working group which fits their interests. Working groups include:
Human Rights – coordinates the translation and dissemination of urgent actions on human rights abuses in Colombia. If you’re able to translate Spanish into English at short notice then we need you!
Fundraising – are you good at organizing events or do you have any other ideas for persuading people to part with their cash? If so, please help our fundraising group. Alongside day-to-day costs, we have also launched an appeal to finance a much-needed office for the campaign.
We also have working groups on the various campaigns we are running, including La Guajira, Tolima, and Buenaventura.
For more information and/or to get involved in a working group, send an email to email@example.com
Our national committee is collectively responsible for the overall coordination of the campaign and makes decisions regarding the direction of the campaign throughout the year. The committee has is made up of known and trusted active members of the campaign, whose responsibilities are decided at the Campaign’s annual general meeting. However, members of the campaign can be nominated or volunteer themselves onto the committee at any time during the year, provided that they are know to and trusted by at least two members of the committee and no one on the committee objects.
Whist some individuals on the committee have specific roles, many of us work as part of one or more small sub-committees which coordinate work on specific issues and which are responsible for convening a corresponding working group on that issue.
Since the Campaign was set up in 2001, we have taken on average two or three delegations of UK-based human rights activists to Colombia each year. The idea behind these delegations is part solidarity – in the sense of visibly demonstrating our support to Colombian organisations through the presence of the international delegates – and part fact-finding in order to build-up contacts and information for future campaigning work.
Some delegations, such as the 2005 delegation to Colombian universities, have produced more detailed research. Participating in a delegation also provides the opportunity for delegates to gain first-hand knowledge of the situation in Colombia – many have gone on become more involved with the Campaign on the basis of their experience on a delegation.
If you are interested in participating in a future delegation to Colombia please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
VOLUNTEERING IN COLOMBIA
We work closely with a number of organisations in Colombia’s social movement and are affiliated to the Red de Hermandad y Solidaridad con Colombia (Network of Friendship and Solidarity with Colombia), which is a space for coordination both amongst grass-roots organisations in Colombia and between these Colombian organisations and grass-roots organisations in Europe working in solidarity with Colombia. A number of campaign members have spent time in Colombia working with and accompanying organisations both inside and outside of the Red de Hermandad.
For the Campaign to give our backing for you to work with a Colombian organisation as a representative of the Colombia Solidarity Campaign UK you need to meet a number of criteria. This is for your own security as well as the security of the Colombian organisation that you are working with. They are also necessary in order for the campaign to be able to act on you behalf should there be any issues while you are working in Colombia.
The criteria include that you:
- are known to and trusted by our national committee.
- are able to communicate without difficulty in Spanish.
- have a good understanding of the situation in Colombia.
- have a reasonable understanding of security measures you should follow. More experienced members of the campaign and organisations in Colombia will advise you on this.
- are willing to accept the security advice of the Colombian organisations that you work with.