Saturday, October 10, 2009

Contextual Framework for MCC Colombia

(originally posted by our friends in Sincelejo the Walker-Wilsons)

Some of you might be glad for a little bit of information about the organization we are here serving through, MCC. Below are some pieces of a powerpoint shared during our MCC Colombia orientation to offer a bit of context.

Mennonite Central Committee

An organization of the North American Anabaptist churches

MCC seeks to demonstrate God’s love by working among people suffering from poverty, conflict, oppression and natural disasters. MCC serves as a channel of interchange by building relationships that are mutual. MCC strives for peace, justice and dignity of all people by sharing our experiences, resources, and faith in Jesus Christ

Fundamental Values of MCC
• Relationships
• Learning
• Flexibility
• Solidarity
• Nonviolence
• Servanthood
• Collaborative Decision-Making
• Involvement with the Church

Founded in 1920, MCC currently has programs in more than 55 counties

Main Areas of Work

Community Development
Emergency Response

Support Resources


Mennonite Central Committee in Colombia

We began to support projects coming from local Anabaptist churches in 1978
In 2002, the office was opened

General Vision
• Support and accompany holistic peace building projects with the Anabaptist churches as well as other churches, with an emphasis on victims of the armed conflict.

• Paradigm of social transformation (and not just social service)
• Theological agenda above political agendas – ideologies.
• Bridge-building role, both nationally and internationally.
• Work from a very clear and permanent foundation in order to achieve better sustainability.

MCC Partners

Interchurch Committee for Psychosocial Action
Cooperative for Community Social Development (CORSOC)
Edupaz – Cali
Justapaz (Jen works with this organization)

Christian Youth for Peace
Local Churches (Cazucá, Teusaquillo, Tierra Linda, Ibagué, Cali, Istmina, Medellín Sincelejo, Marialabaja, Zambrano, etc)
Mencoldes (Aaron and Jen work for this organization)

Anabaptist Theological Seminaries.

Program Areas
Awareness and Social Service Projects from the churches.

◦ School for Peace(Bogotá, Ibagué, Armenia-Pereira, Barranquilla)
◦ Theological Education programs in Bogotá
◦ Education programs for children and youth: Cazucá, Ibagué, Medellín
◦ Organizational Strengthening of Local Churches for Peace Programs
◦ Community and School Mediation Programs
◦ Education for the Prevention of HIV-AIDS
◦ Environmental Education (Tierra Linda)

Spaces of Formation, Analysis and Inter-church and Civil Society dialogue
◦ Catholic-Anabaptist Encounter
◦ Anabaptist Encounters about Political Advocacy
◦ Citizen Commissions for Reconciliation
◦ Moment for Peace
◦ Commission for Restoration, Life and Peace
◦ Sanctuaries for Peace Churches
◦ Formation for Conscientious Objection
◦ Permanent Course

Holistic Response to the Population Affected by the Armed Conflict
◦ Network of Women for Trauma Healing
◦ Accompaniment of local programs for psychosocial action with victims and victimizers
◦ Agricultural Projects: Chocó, Montes de María
◦ Center for Holistic Attention for Displaced People-CAID
◦ Emergency Response of Local Churches for the Displaced Population: Chocó, Costa Atlántica, Quito
◦ Accompaniment of Persecuted Families
◦ Income Generation Projects
◦ Protection Fund

Political Advocacy

◦ Program of Documentation of Violations against the Church Population for Political
◦ Sister Church Program
◦ Dialogue with Actors of the Armed Conflict
◦ Program for the Promotion, Defense, and Access to Justice


• Group of 30 people (July 2009)
• Office in Bogotá: Director, Program Assistant, Administrative Assistant, General Services (part time)
• Service Workers for other Programs: 14 people (Bogotá, Cali, Sincelejo)
• Seed Program (2 Co-Coordinators and 9 participants - Cazucá, Ibagué, Cali, Istmina, Marialabaja, Zambrano and Sincelejo)
• 1 Sister church intern

Program Strategies

· Responsible Use of Resources – joint programs and not duplicating efforts.
· Mutual Capacity Building – planning and learning together
· Connections for Transformation – Learning tours
· Right Relationships – lifestyle, answers from solidarity, gender analysis.
· Political Advocacy.
· Care of Creation – lifestyle, environmental analysis.


Maintain a clear focus at the same time we respond to a dynamic context.
Transparency and Consistency
Balance of Powers
Emotional Wellbeing and Prevention of “burn-out”
Strengthening of International Relations

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