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Misean Cara CEO Heydi Foster delivered RTÉ Radio 1’s A Living Word programme from 8th October to 12th October 2018. Heydi spoke about her experience visiting Misean Cara funded projects in Colombia, South Sudan, India, Zambia and Haiti.

In this episode, Heydi speaks about a peace building project in Colombia, run by Misean Cara member the Little Sisters of the Assumption.

A Living Word – Promoting Peace in Colombia

This episode was aired on RTÉ Radio 1 on Monday 8th October 2018. 

In the end I said: Silencio, por favor dejen hablar a las mujeres!  [Silence, please let the women speak]. I wanted the men to let the women tell their story. In Latin America, women can be sidelined, overlooked, their rights ignored. Even more so women from an indigenous background, or descendants of West African slaves. So, I asked the men to let the three women speak for themselves.

They were volunteer peace promoters in their communities – part of a Misean Cara project run by the Little Sisters of the Assumption in Putumayo, southern Colombia. This area suffered greatly during fifty years of armed conflict. Quietly, calmly, they told me about the awful cruelty in their own lives. How, when violence was everywhere, they chose to promote peace. How eventually with the Sisters they found ways to resolve disputes in their families and between neighbours. They put their lives at risk by standing up to those who used violence. One of them said to me: “It was not easy, as a woman, to be respected but we had to stop the pain which fighting brings”.  The women spoke about respect for Mother Earth, about the connectedness of all things, about the need to embrace new ways of being and relating.

What struck me most as I listened was their courage. Not raw, physical courage, no. But a quiet, strong, irresistible courage that came from a deep conviction that what they were doing was right and good and, above all, embraced human dignity. The type of courage we all need to create something better.

You can listen to the other A Living Word episodes on the Audio Page of our website. 

Featured Image: Heydi Foster, CEO at Misean Cara, with Waldina Munoz, Maria Soraida Fuelantala, Mirian Gomez Calvajar and Sr Bride Counihan, Little Sisters of the Assumption, at the SERCOLDES Foundation. SERCOLDES is a project run by the Little Sisters of the Assumption in Colombia.