Viaje de Héroes y Heroínas (The Superhero’s Journey) is the second component of the project “Youth-led Peace and Reconciliation in Colombia: A Transformational Approach”. It has been designed based on the principle that children and youth are not just victims of conflict, but that they can take an active role in creating a more peaceful and inclusive society by realizing their own potential and starting change processes in their immediate environments. Furthermore, communities can play an active role in protecting children and youth from the risk of being recruited by criminal gangs or illegal armed groups and other associated dangers.
The overall goal of Viaje de Héroes y Heroínas is to contribute to the ongoing peace process in Colombia by strengthening the capacity of vulnerable youth in marginalized communities to act as agents of positive change.
The Educational Tool – “The hero’s journey”
The main tool under this component is The Superhero’s Journey, an educational process that took the shape of a gamified training journey. Educators and teachers can use this tool when working with local communities, as well as with children in schools and educational centres, in order to identify and prevent risks in their contexts, and to develop and reinforce the capacity of children and youth to create small but important projects that would positively impact their communities
This gamified educational tool aims to promote integration and peaceful co-existence within local communities - with a specific focus on enabling children and youth to become actors of positive change. It also includes activities that have an impact on their families and the surrounding community. This is achieved by identifying the needs of the community itself and through actively supporting professionals working in youth centred programmes, as well as socialization and learning for vulnerable children and youth living in suburbs and marginal contexts.
Due to the age of the participants and, therefore, the importance of creating an interactive learning experience, UNITAR designed a tool that articulates all the following characteristics:
- Hands-on activities which can physically activate the body while promoting healthy competition.
- Activities focused on the development of the participants’ self-esteem and self-confidence.
- Artistic activities that encourage creativity and lead to the discovery of the participants’ talents.
- Activities that involve families in the process of personal growth experienced by the participants.
- Activities that foster cooperation among the community and the identification of joint and easy-to-implement projects.
- As a cross-cutting priority, a gender-based approach is included with the purpose of building a culture aware of the equal opportunities for men and women, regardless of their sexual preferences.