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2016-08_dc

D+C  e-Paper  August 2016 31 of high production and transport costs, poor quality and rather volatile supply, local products were hardly on offer however. Moreover, there is a general sense of distrust in crisis regions, and people are especially cautious in regard to others. This attitude can thwart normal market activity to a considerable extent. Thanks to the “mercado libre campesino”, many small farmers are now selling their products directly without having to rely on intermediaries. For the first time, there is a suitable trading platform for region- ally-grown products, and consumers are becoming aware of them. Personal contact and direct exchange between growers, consumers, traders and producer associations help to build mutual trust. Furthermore, the market has created a space for new ideas to develop. For instance, a young family is now selling its unique yoghurt creations to a wider public, instead of tediously trying to market products door-to-door. Psychosocial support The trauma people suffered in the war still affects them psychologically. In order to deal with their expe- riences, they need professional help. Projects aimed to support war victims should include psychosocial support. In addition to individual counselling, col- lective approaches matter because they foster social cohesion. Sol Naciente, a private foundation, is doing impressive work in this area, exemplifying what it means to come to terms with wartime trauma. Arts and cultural activities allow people to gain self-confi- dence, experience joy and feel hope for the future once again. A dance school led by Layla, a belly dancer, is at the centre of activities. Her class is extremely popu- lar and attracts about 300 dance students. Layla offers dance lessons both in urban Pensil- vania as well as in rural areas that were hit particu- larly hard by the civil war. Her classes serve a clear psychosocial function. The protected space of shared dance lessons helps people regain their dignity. As they refind themselves in dance and self-expression, they begin to muster the strength needed to become involved in social life once again. Meeting at eye-level The establishment of a local farmers’ market may seem trivial, and the need to provide psychosocial care in crises and (post-)conflict regions may seem obvious. Difficult circumstances and a torn social fabric, that are typical in rural Colombia, however, mean that these things cannot be taken for granted. Moreover, these issues are interrelated and must be considered in context from the very start. Transpar- ent involvement and targeted, but nevertheless open- ended dialogue between all relevant interest groups are among the basic building blocks for any meaning- ful reparation strategy. In the course of the research, it became evident again and again that mutual distrust, a poor under- standing of other people’s interests, lack of expertise and poorly defined responsibilities can nip inklings of social inclusion in the bud. Although many regis- tered victims are organised in associations, only a few members actually assume active roles and engage in interaction with other parties. It depends largely on their representatives, however, whether victims’ needs are successfully communicated. Victims rarely participate in substantial decision- making processes that would allow them to actively shape their socio-economic environment. Making matters more difficult, cooperation remains limited among local farmers. Their associations exist primar- ily to express their interests, rather than to organise joint efforts. The result is a failure to implement spe- cific, shared marketing strategies. The local government could make a difference by improving the conditions for public participation. If victims’ socio-economic potential is recognised and other relevant actors are able to take part in realising it, reparation will come within reach. Link Maaß, G., Montens, K., Hurtado Cano, D., Molina Osorio, A., Pilz, M., Stegemann, J., Guillermo Vieira, J., 2013: Entre reparación y transformación: Estrategias productivas en el marco de la reparación integral a las víctimas del conflicto armado en el Oriente de Caldas, Colombia. Berlin (in Spanish). https://www.sle-berlin.de/files/sle/auslandsprojekte/2011/2013_Kolumbien_ mit%20Cover.pdf Mario Pilz conducted research in Colombia in 2013 on behalf of the Centre for Rural Development (SLE) of Humboldt University Berlin and GIZ. He is currently involved in programme coordination for Welthungerhilfe in Pakistan. [email protected] Coffee is one oft he most important trading products in Colombia. Giling/Lineair

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