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Protect the Social Leaders – Colombia

By: Giovanny Rincón & Sarah Champagne

One of Colombia’s top challenges during its fragile post-accord phase has been the increase in killings and threats of human rights defenders and social leaders. According to the Ombudsman’s Office, 462 human rights defenders have been killed from January 2016 to March 2019. Heeding to the urgent call for assistance and capacity building regarding self-protection for at-risk communities, HRA, along with IBM Colombia, co-sponsored the 2019 Campus Party Colombia from June 18-21, 2019 held in Bogotá, Colombia. Campus Party Colombia 2019 was a festival of innovation and creativity, consisting of multidisciplinary activities in which young people, communities, universities, companies and institutions met to discuss ways to build the future using technology as a tool to change the world, consciously and responsibly.

During this event, two Rotary Peace Fellows had the opportunity to meet for the first time. Sarah Champagne, Class 17 Rotary Peace Fellow, is on her summer internship in Colombia and incoming Rotary Peace Fellow, Giovanny Rincón currently works for the organization that led the activity, “Protect the Social Leaders’. This activity brought together programmers, coders, graphic designers and hackers to develop technological solutions to proposed social challenges. Additionally, local Rotary clubs were engaged in the event. The Rotary initiative in Campus Party was to sell water bottles, in which they would invest 100% of the funds to children who currently do not have access to potable water.

Link to Rotary Initiative in Campus Party (in Spanish)

Link to Campus Party (in Spanish)


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