Stella Duque

Executive Director, Taller de Vida

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“For me, peace means justice. I imagine peace with young girls who can live a real childhood and have good schooling. With Indigenous and Afro-Colombian communities who can celebrate their cultures. With leaders who listen to their people. I would like to say to the women worldwide who have lived through war like us: there’s hope. Always raise your voice, and always join hands with other women. We can build a global chain of solidarity, together and stronger.”

Stela Duque stands in a circle with children in Colombia

Stella’s activism:

Stella leads Taller de Vida’s work providing critical services to Afro-Colombian and Indigenous women, girls, and children displaced by violence, including former child soldiers and those at risk of forced recruitment by the paramilitaries.

Stella is a clinical psychologist and has a Master’s Degree in systemic family intervention.

She is a founding member of Taller de Vida’s Psychosocial Development and Consulting Center. Her work with the center brings her extensive experience with psychosocial intervention and pedagogy for children, young women, families, and communities.

In addition, Stella is a university professor and researcher responsible for providing training to research teams, educators, and others.

She started the “Saquen mi cuerpo de la guerra (“Take my body out of the war”) campaign, using art therapy to help children harmed by the conflict to overcome their trauma. Overcoming the stigma of sexual violence, the youth also organize community exhibits of their work. The campaign’s goal is to bring local and international attention to the issue of sexual violence against children.

Taller de Vida is a community-based organization providing support to Afro-Colombian and Indigenous women and youth affected by racial, gender, and wartime violence and helping them envision — and work to create — a more peaceful world.

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