GETTING INVOLVED • PROMOTION OF THE DEVELOPMENT POLICY COMMITMENT OF DIASPORA ORGANISATIONS

Little games for lots of joy in Colombia

It made Julieth Hernandez sad when she met children in Colombia who did not even have a ball to play with. Today, she is actively involved in the Colombian-German Friendship Association and its “Sport against violence” project. With ‘little games,’ children learn how to interact with others and how to resolve conflicts without resorting to violence.

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“It’s like one big family,” Julieth Hernandez describes the Colombian-German Friendship Association with members all over Germany. She supports the association’s “Sport against violence” project, which is run in cooperation with the Institute of Sports and Sports Science at the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology. With their ‘little games,’ exercise units developed by the university’s sports scientists, children from socially disadvantaged neighborhoods develop a better awareness of their own body and learn how to interact with others socially. This approach is an important step in learning about conflict management and ultimately a prevention measure against violence and drug abuse. Born in Colombia, Julieth Hernandez is familiar with the problems in her home country, especially in Siloé. The CIM-sponsored project is run in the slum of Cali, a city with a population of over two million people in the south of the country. Today, the student enjoys living in Germany, but she has never forgotten her roots.

With ‘little games’, sport scientists of the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology help children develop their body awareness and do preventive work against violence and drug abuse.

To determine one’s role within the group and finding a balance is an important aspect in childhood development.

An interview with Julieth Hernandez:

You support the “Sport against violence” project of the Colombian-German Friendship Association. How did you get involved?

That was pretty much by coincidence; a friend of mine went to a meeting and took me along. I immediately enjoyed the atmosphere and spirit. That’s how I got to know members who told me about the association’s projects and “Sport against violence.” Since then, I have become actively involved.

What is the association’s structure? And what type of events do you have?

We are about 430 members. There are local groups all over Germany that support different projects, organize events, and host periodic meetings. Just recently, for instance, we had our annual general meeting for all members, which takes place at a different venue every year. It offers Colombians and Germans an opportunity to discuss matters and share a meal. Eating together is an important part of our culture. It’s just like one big family.

 „Sport gegen Gewalt“ wird in Siloé über die Partnerorganisation Sidoc angeboten und vom CIM gefördert.

“Sport against violence” in Siloé is offered via the partner organization Sidoc and sponsored by the CIM.

Why did you decide to get involved in “Sport against violence”? And how exactly does this project work?

When I first heard of the project, I remembered an encounter in my home country seven years ago: I met a few kids who could not really relate to a ball because they did not even have one. I found that so sad. The project has an exercise-based concept called ‘little games’ where children are taught in a simple and playful manner to act as part of a group, to develop awareness of their body, and ultimately to resolve conflicts. I think this is a fantastic approach.

Where is the project run?

“Sport against violence” is run in Siloé, a slum in Cali in southern Colombia. The project is offered by our partner organization Sidoc and sponsored by CIM. I think it is particularly important to keep the children there active and busy. Many of the problems arise because kids are neglected.

What is your role in the project?

As I was born in Colombia, it’s easy for me to contribute because I am familiar with people’s mentality. Many Colombians don’t trust easily. Last year, I served as an interpreter at a workshop we hosted there. At the workshop, new exercise facilitators were trained, which is important as it allows us to help more and more children.

Julieth Hernandez has not forgotten her native country. Through the Colombian-German Friendship Association, she can help even from afar, from her new home in Karlsruhe.

Siloé, a slum in Cali, is among the world’s most violence-ridden places.

On behalf of

The Centre for International Migration and Development (CIM) is jointly run by the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH and the International Placement Services (ZAV) of the German Federal Employment Agency (BA). Together, they have been providing development and labour market policy expertise for over 35 years. CIM places experts from Europe and those who have settled in Germany in developing countries and emerging economies. It offers a network for those who have migrated to Germany and who wish to support development in their country of origin, and it advises individuals and decision-makers on migration issues. Our main commissioning party is the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ).

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