Colombian women speak peace, May 4 in Toronto

KAIROS Media Release

KAIROS Canada hosts Colombian partner, Organización Femenina Popular for panel on Women, Peace and Security

(Toronto, ON) – Two Colombian women peace builders will visit Toronto on May 4 to share their work in empowering women victims of Colombia’s 50-year war, and their involvement in developing the country’s peace accord. Colombian Women and the Path to Peace, a KAIROS-hosted panel discussion, will be held at the Multi-Faith Centre at the University of Toronto, 6:00 to 8:00 p.m., and will feature Yolanda Becerra Vega, the National Coordinator of the Organización Femenina Popular (OFP) and Kelly Johanna Campo, OFP youth activist and human rights defender.

WHAT: Colombian Women and the Path to Peace, a public event with the Organización Femenina Popular of Colombia

For 46 years, the OFP has worked with marginalized women, advocating for human rights and building conditions for peace amidst the conflict in Colombia. They continue this work despite a spike in threats, attacks and murder of human rights defenders and peace activists since the signing of the peace accord in 2016. KAIROS has been the OFP’s partner for 16 years.

The event will also be a memorial to the 20th anniversary of the massacre that took place on May 16, 1998 in Barrancabermeja, Colombia when armed paramilitaries murdered seven local inhabitants and disappeared another 25 people. This massacre marked the beginning of a reign of terror for human rights workers, activists and feminist organizations, including the OFP.

WHEN: Friday, May 4; 6:00 to 8:00 p.m.

WHERE: Multi-Faith Centre, University of Toronto (569 Spadina Avenue, Toronto)

WHO: Yolanda Becerra Vega, National Coordinator of the Organización Femenina Popular (OFP)
Kelly Johanna Campo, OFP youth activist and human rights defender

Rachel Warden, Partnerships Manager of KAIROS Canada

Co-sponsors are: Amnesty Canada, CASA, Colombia Action Solidarity Alliance, Colombia Working Group, Christian Peacemaker Teams, and the Latin American and Caribbean Solidarity Network.

About KAIROS: Canadian Ecumenical Justice Initiatives

KAIROS is a faith-based social justice organization of ten Canadian churches and religious organizations. We focus on Indigenous rights, international human rights, and ecological and gender justice. We deliberate on issues of common concern, advocate for social change and join with people of faith and goodwill in action for social transformation. Learn more:

About the Organización Femenina Popular

Established in 1972, the OFP is one of the largest and most well-respected grassroots women’s organizations in Colombia. The OFP represents thousands of women, and has programming in the areas of peace, human rights, health, and food security. The OFP operates casas de mujeres and run community kitchens which offer affordable meals and provide some income to the women’s centres. It provides psycho-social counselling, legal support to women victims of violence, human rights training, and youth programs. The OFP continues to accompany women victims of the war who are seeking reparations through the implementation of the Victims’ Law and has taken an active role in the country’s peace process.

Media Contact:

Cheryl McNamara, Media Coordinator, KAIROS Canada

877-403-8933 x 246,

Filed in: Gender Justice/Women of Courage, Latin America, Media Releases


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