We take with us “understanding”, “peace”, “respect”, “knowledge”, and “change us first”. With these expressions, the workers of Grupo Salud y Vida and the educators of the Child Development Centres, who attended the warm and festive meeting-workshop for the Inauguration of Nonviolent October 2023 in Ecuador, held on 30 September in the city of Machachi, near the capital, said goodbye.

This was the first of 60 registered initiatives, which will be carried out throughout the Nonviolent October, by 25 social organisations and institutions of the country, which coordinate with Espacio No Violento, the humanist collective which is the animator of this twelfth experience, which officially opens on October 2nd, with a virtual Act at 19h00.

Within this framework, other activities have already been launched, such as the “Gymkhana of actions promoting a culture of non-violence”, organised by the Network of Humanist Educators of Ecuador and Peru. The Gymkhana mobilises schools, teachers, students and families to form small groups to undertake challenges, which are shared on the networks. Challenges such as the creation of a micro-story inspired by the culture of peace and non-violence, research and socialisation of three relevant actions of a character who promotes non-violence; writing a letter inviting to non-violence; production of a song or poem that generates a register of wellbeing, peace, joy; or the creation of a podcast with information on non-violence and the culture of peace.

The Grupo de Propuestas Alternativas a la Violencia (Red PAV Ecuador), linked to the Human Rights Programme of the Universidad Andina Simón Bolívar, for its part, has set up and will develop experiential workshops during the month, where a specific problem and theme chosen by the participants is explored in depth.

The active participation of the Municipality of the Metropolitan District of Quito is very significant in this edition of Nonviolent October. The Secretariat of Education (SERD) has arranged for its 20 municipal educational institutions and 14 children’s centres to carry out “various activities with a formative focus, which make it possible to experience peace in intrapersonal, interpersonal and transpersonal relationships. Activities such as theatrical performances, digital murals, round tables for the exchange of experiences, film forums or readings of characters who defend peace”.

The Social Inclusion Secretariat, through the Equity and Justice Centres located in the different districts, will set up around 30 workshops on the prevention of gender-based violence, bullying and awareness-raising with families to prevent domestic violence.

Forums, panels, and multiple meetings are planned throughout the month, which will end on 28 October with the Non-violent Initiatives Fair.

In a country marked by increasing violence, Nonviolent October opens with a message: “I want to live without fear, that’s why I build nonviolence”.