Light a Candle – Join KAIROS and OFP on Nov 25 for a vigil to end violence against women

Candlelight Vigil in Colombia
Candlelight Vigil in Colombia

Greetings from Barrancabermeja Colombia. It’s wonderfully inspiring to be back in Colombia with the Organización Femenina Popular (OFP). It’s good for the soul to be with an organization that believes in the capacity of women to make dreams a reality, including the dream of sustainable, inclusive and equitable peace and ecological justice. It’s great to be here with colleagues from KAIROS.

And, it’s so exciting to be here in the lead up to November 25, the International Day to End Violence against Women, a day of enormous significance to the OFP and other Women, Peace and Security (WPS) partners. This year the OFP is busy planning a National Women’s Vigil for Peace with participation of women. Thousands of women are mobilizing in regions across Colombia demanding “peace and a life without violences.”

The OFP is working with the office of the High Commission for Peace in Colombia on this National Women’s Vigil, demonstrating their support and the urgent need for the total peace with all armed groups that the Colombian government has promised, and calling for the participation of women in these processes.

While we feel honoured and happy to be here, we cannot forget that this trip was supposed to be an exchange between the OFP and our Palestinian WPS partner, Wi’am: Palestinian Centre for Conflict Transformation. We are reminded of it at every turn, in every mention of struggle for peace and the right to a life without violences – for everyone. The absence of our Palestinian partners in this exchange speaks volumes. When the voices of women peacebuilders and human rights defenders in Palestine and their allies in Israel are needed more than ever, their voices are being silenced and extinguished.

While our Palestinian partner cannot be with us in person, we are committed to amplifying their voices here in Colombia by denouncing the atrocities perpetrated by Israel and Hamas. We are advocating for a just peace for all in Palestine and Israel, and calling for an immediate ceasefire and respect for international humanitarian law. The OFP is also committed to demonstrating their solidarity. They have been gathering messages and words of solidarity and support for Wi’am and Palestinian women from Colombian women in the communities they accompany. We had the opportunity to experience these acts and words of solidarity when we visited the community of San Pablo. And, we have now been tasked to share these messages with Wi’am.

On November 25, here in Barrancabermeja, we will be participating in the National Women’s Vigil for peace, amplifying the messages from Wi’am and supporting the urgent call for peace and a life without violence.

We invite you to join us by lighting a candle to show your solidarity and commitment to peace, an end to gender-based violence and a life without violence for everyone everywhere from Colombia to Palestine to Canada. If you can, please take a photo of your candle and send it to KAIROS so we can share it with partners.

We will share photos and updates from the National Women’s Vigil for Peace in Colombia on November 25. This will launch our 16 Days of Activism to End Gender-based violence social media campaign, based on the work and voices of our Women of Courage partners.

Please share this message and action among your friends and networks. And stay tuned for more blogs and updates from Colombia, as well as messages and photos from partners during the upcoming 16 Days of Activism

In peace and solidarity,

Rachel Warden

Partnerships Manager


P.S. Your donation today will have 4x the impact. Please give generously today to support women human rights defenders in Colombia, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, South Sudan and the West Bank, who are building a more just and equitable world. Every dollar you donate to the WPS program generates $3 in funding from Global Affairs Canada.

Women of the OFP in San Pablo add depth to their call for peace, an end to all forms of violence, and solidarity with Palestinian women with more words and phrases that spell out MUJER, which is WOMAN in Spanish.

Join their vigil by lighting your own candle on November 25. Send a photo of your candle

Filed in: Gender Justice

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