Leading for peace in Colombia – plan international Canada launches new initiative to support victims affected by armed conflict

Plan International Canada welcomes the Government of Canada’s meaningful contribution that will help over 100,000 children and youth victims

TORONTO, July 5, 2016

In the wake of the historic peace talks occurring between the Colombian government and the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC), Plan International Canada announces a new project that aims to positively impact the lives of over 100,000 children and youth victims of armed conflict within Colombia. With the support of Global Affairs Canada, “Leading for Peace: Supporting the Rights of Children and Youth in Colombia” will be dedicated to giving young people the skills and tools to break the dangerous cycle of violence, discrimination and poverty within their communities.

“As the ceasefire agreement paves the way for more progress, healing and peace in Colombia, we are grateful for the Government of Canada’s ongoing support as we continue to build a sustainable and non-violent future in the country for generations to come,” said Caroline Riseboro, President and CEO of Plan International Canada. “It’s been troubling to see nations becoming increasingly divided and isolated, but projects such as ‘Leading for Peace’ demonstrate that as international partners, we can work together to transform the lives of young people affected by decades of conflict.”

The new initiative will help deliver protection and compensation services for victims affected by conflict in Tumaco, Quibdó and Buenaventura. Plan International in Canada and Colombia are dedicated to supporting the most marginalized victims within these vulnerable regions; young girls and boys who have been traumatized by forced displacement, exposure to landmines and recruitment by illegal armed groups. These children are often living in poverty, surrounded by dangerous conditions, and jeopardizing their futures by being forced to drop out of school. Plan International in Canada and Colombia are well equipped to create sustainable change in areas affected by conflict, places that experience higher incidents of child mortality and rising gender-based violence, sexual abuse and exploitation – all of which seriously impact young girls.

Through the “Leading for Peace” project, Plan International Canada will work closely with government institutions, organizational and community partners to ensure they incorporate a child-rights based, ethnically inclusive and gender responsive approaches to their action plans. Plan International Canada regularly adapts its work and designs activities in response to input from children, community members and partners.

“By listening directly to children, we can create inclusive, safe and protective environments tailored to their specific needs. Ultimately, the goal is to empower youth and create stronger and more resilient citizens,” added Caroline Riseboro.

Plan International has been actively involved in Colombia for over 50 years. Global Affairs Canada has supported Plan’s work in Colombia for over a decade and will contribute $18.9 million to the “Leading for Peace” project. In conjunction with Plan’s investment, the total funding for victims in Colombia for nearly five years will come to $20.7 million. A previous project implemented by Plan International Canada over the past five years, “Protecting the Rights of Conflict-Affected and Vulnerable Children in Colombia” delivered substantial results. Over 25,000 people displaced by armed conflict learned how to exercise their rights and receive better access to vital services. Over 40 schools implemented action plans to prevent gender-based violence and over 1,000 adolescents and youth also received training to support income generation for their culture, sport and art initiatives.


Kaili Colford, Senior Media and Public Relations Manager, Plan International Canada
T: 416 920-1654 ext. 350 | C: 647-459-7557 | kcolford@plancanada.ca