Communication and crowdfunding for Peace

Two reincorporated communities in Mutatá, Antioquia, receive training in the creation of audiovisual pieces for the commercialization of their enterprises. They are now starting their first crowdfunding campaign to build a productive infrastructure that will benefit the region.

Since January 2021, two reincorporated communities settled in Mutatá, Antioquia, have been participating in a pilot project by the Rural Alternative School (ERA for its acronym in Spanish) of Communication, thanks to the "Imagining Our Image - INI" 2020 Grant awarded by the Ministry of Culture to PASO Colombia. There, they are trained to tell their own stories of reconciliation and entrepreneurship with their own voices. Through the creation of agile and dynamic audiovisual productions, they seek to promote their brands in social networks and contribute to improve the profitability of the enterprises of nearby farming communities. They are now planning their first crowdfunding campaign to build an animal concentrate factory that will benefit them and the farmers in the region.

In 2017, 45 families in the process of reincorporation arrived in Mutatá from the Tierralta ETCR in Córdoba. Along the waters of the Abibe mountain range, they found an opportunity to start over, betting everything they had on fish farming. In July 2020, reincorporated combatants who fled the violence-ridden Ituango, where they had consolidated the Paramillo coffee brand in alliance with the region's coffee growers, arrived in those same mountains.

For the past four years, PASO Colombia has been supporting these two communities in their collective entrepreneurships, through the collaborative model of the Rural Alternative Schools (ERA), together with allies such as the ARN, the Cier-Ceiba-Ceam Alliance, Harvest Plus and the University of Antioquia.

Communication with a vision for peace

The ERA of Communication originated as a response to the progress of the collective entrepreneurships that were born with the Peace Accord, which has highlighted the need to promote communication processes to complement production and marketing phases already underway.

The training process has allowed participants to create and strengthen their brands’ identity, being Abibe, Paramillo and Travesías por la Paz the main beneficiaries. They have learned to visually narrate small stories in which the added value of these peace entrepreneurships can be appreciated. To do so, they have regained lessons learned from the conflict, such as knowledge about fauna and flora, about landscapes hidden in their territories and survival techniques to survive in nature. But they have also integrated what they learn every day in their reincorporation process, such as the challenges of entrepreneurship in rural areas, family reunion, community life and the challenges of building peace.

Whether through photographs, texts or videos, the communities are the true protagonists of the communication strategies that are being developed. This vision has brought to the forefront the value of the words and images that are born in the territories as affirmative expressions of their journey, which is finally reflected in brands with exceptional identity going into the national market.

The program "Frente al Espejo" visited the communities of Mutatá and Becuarandó to document their reincorporation process and the advances made with the ERA of Communication. This is a program of the Truth Commission, produced in partnership with Canal Capital  and with the support of the European Union.

How to contribute

This vision is not only reflected in the content these brands are producing, but also in concrete actions with which they seek to support their territories. This is the case of the crowdfunding campaign organized by the Abibe and Paramillo brands, which PASO Colombia is promoting with its community infrastructure construction ally Bay-Build.

The campaign will be promoted with photographic and audiovisual material produced by the ERA of Communication and will seek to raise funds to build an infrastructure that will make it possible to produce natural animal concentrate that is healthier and 30% cheaper. The concentrates will be sold at highly competitive prices to farming communities throughout the area, making the breeding of their animals cleaner and more profitable.

If you wish to collaborate as an ally in the planning and/or execution of this crowdfunding campaign, please write to [email protected]. In order to donate resources, you can find information on our website and social networks.