Facilitating Transformative Action in Peru
Central square in Huancavelica.
Welcome to the weekly broadcast of Youth Hour, your radio program informing Huancavelica’s community about human rights, governance and other hot topics.” The launch of Youth Hour, a radio program researched and hosted by members of the Network of Facilitators (REDFAH), is now well-known in Huancavelica, a mountainous region of Peru profoundly marked by twenty years of armed conflict. REDFAH was founded in 2004 by a group of young professionals who were among the first participants of the Diploma and Leadership School on Human Rights, Governance, and Democracy offered by a coalition of Inter Pares’ counterparts. As Fanny Cusi, one of REDFAH’s founding members, explained, “We wanted to create a space to continue our reflections sparked by the training and share our new knowledge with other young people.”
REDFAH has evolved into a mutual learning space, where its members teach each other skills and share knowledge on human rights, participatory budgets, governance, and the local political context. According to REDFAH’s coordinator Ronald Ramos, these subjects “are not taught in school or university but we need to learn about them, to change how things are done, to actually improve peoples’ lives.” The Network is open to all. Current members of REDFAH include students, engineers, nurses, social workers, psychologists, teachers, lawyers, and anthropologists.
Members of REDFAH.
Those who decide to join REDFAH sometimes face resistance from their partners, families and friends. When Inter Pares staff member Nadia Faucher met with REDFAH last April, Network member Wilder Esplana explained that his friends and family had been skeptical of his involvement at first. They wanted to know “why I was participating in the Network, why I was spending so much time there, since democracy, human rights, and political participation are not useful subjects – they are worthless.”
The youth of REDFAH are teaching themselves to become facilitators who can guide and support social processes, help resolve difficulties and conflict in communities, and find solutions to foster local development. Their skills are increasingly recognized and valued by local authorities and organizations in Huancavelica. Members of REDFAH have been invited by mayors to help them set up consultation processes required for participatory budgets. Network members working as nurses, teachers, or even engineers are better able to apply a holistic analysis to their work and raise tough questions. Network members are also creating international linkages. One member was part of the Latin America youth delegation to the Organization of American States General Assembly in June 2008 focused on the theme “Youth and Democratic Values.”
REDFAH has become like a family now, and members grow both personally and professionally as they challenge the way things have been done in the past. Together they are creating a peaceful and just society in Huancavelica, Peru.
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|Reviewed November 01, 2009||Publishing Policies|