Location and general information

En cours
Location Colombia, Cali and Medellin
Start date 07/01/2023
End date 06/30/2024
Cost of the project €79,496
Foundation funding €20,087
Project identifier 20230122
Partners WAPA International
Categories Access to Sport - Conflict victims - Gender Equality - Personal development


During the five decades of armed conflict in Colombia, virtually all the armed groups recruited children as soldiers, both in villages and towns. It is estimated that nearly 18,000 children were recruited. Children joined these armed groups for a variety of reasons: challenging economic circumstances, domestic violence, lack of opportunities, desire for revenge, threats and forced recruitment.

Project goals

The Kuakumun and Arteuma programmes are designed to improve the life trajectories of former child soldiers and help them to realise their personal and social potential through art and sport. The goal is for them to develop the skills they need to reintegrate into civil society, gain employment and regain their civil rights and responsibilities.

Project content

The Arteuma programme, at a reintegration centre in Cali, and the Kuakumun programme, at a reintegration centre in Medellin, are aimed at male and female teenagers who have left armed guerrilla groups and feature two main strands:

Art therapy

This approach uses music, dance, plastic arts, theatre and embroidery sessions to help participants:

  • improve their self-awareness and self-confidence
  • discover talents other than fighting and new possibilities for the future
  • learn to control their aggression
  • develop tolerance, patience and concentration
  • heal their wounds and move forward
  • learning to build instead of destroy
  • work as part of a team, respecting differences and relating to others without rivalry
  • overcome shyness and make friends

The teenagers will be taken to museums and will attend events where they will present their artwork to other young people and meet professional artists. These exchanges will help to restore their pride and enable them to be seen as something other than ex-child soldiers.

Sport therapy

An interdisciplinary team of psychosocial workers and professional sports coaches will run weekly introductory sessions and training in football, swimming and martial arts. All the necessary equipment will be provided. The teenagers will go on educational outings, meet elite athletes and participate in a tournament.

Through sports, the teenagers will:

  • strengthen their interpersonal skills and learn how to work together
  • learn how to rebuild relationships
  • enhance their self-esteem and social skills
  • improve their mental and physical health
  • learn to recognise their limitations
  • learn to accept their bodies


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