While MADRE staff was in Colombia visiting with our sister organization Taller de Vida, we spent time at the center in Usme, talking to children about their experiences with war and their healing through art.
“We left our home because of the conflict,” says Linda, a thin 16-year-old with a long braid. “But the war has followed us here. The armed groups patrol the neighborhoods and take children to fight. We are careful. It’s especially bad for the girls.”
“For me, this place isn’t a building,” Jessica, 14, a serious girl with sparkling eyes, says of Taller de Vida’s Usme center. “It’s a home.”
“Yes,” says 15-year-old Daniel, “this is where can talk about the threats we face from armed groups and drug traffickers and help each other to do something about them.”
Maria, 14, jumps in “When I am here, I can be happy because this is where we care for our dreams. I want to be an artist when I grow up and paint pictures of peace for children.”