Last weekend we had the honour of going to Colombia’s most attended national leaders training ever. Almost 60 participants from Bogotá, Medellín and Manizales gathered for two days in a cold but beautiful country house near Bogotá.

We were invited to participate and hold an activity -of course, about human rights. It was really exciting to be part of an effort to share time and work together with people from different parts of this country. I think we, Colombins, should really  work to be more cohesive and connected;  and holding these kind of meetings is indeed a step towards that goal. Building global friendship also, and perhaps before anything else, means encouraging friendship and undesrtanding within the boundaries of each country. Now that I have lived in Medellín for a while I  believe it is still a challenge to overcome regional differences, and it is really satisfying to experience that connection happening.

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This was part of a series of trainings that are meant for preparing the leaders that will go to CISV camps this summer. It is a huge responsibility to take a bunch of kids across the globe for several weeks, even more when the purpose is that they learn something, besides just having fun. Therefore these trainings are crucial for guaranteeing the kids safety and the adequate development of camps. Among other things, we learned how to fill CISVs legal forms, how to use a travel insurance properly, we discussed how to deal with all sorts of parents and we got acquainted with CISVS evaluation system -the famous PDPEF. Having people with a lot of experience was of great help, but hearing new voices was also really interesting and refreshing. The pre-camp anxiety and excitement was really contagious, I must admit!

What I find most interesting about these meetings is that we are not only training people to properly play a role at a specific program in CISV. I believe these trainings are actually helping to develop true leadership skills in all of us, beyond CISVs limits. Promoting cooperative attitudes instead of competitiveness, encouraging people to act out of their own initiative, developing critical thinking,  learning how to deal with conflict…that is the meaning of educating for active global citizenship.

The two colombian girls from YIQ -the next project between Colombia and Norway- were there, and we got to share some of our experiences as Con Lupa that will hopefully be helpful for them. We are 50% happy for them, 50% jealous of the exciting year they are about to begin.