I want to live without fear, that’s why I build Nonviolence! This was the message that resounded for a month in multiple activities of the Nonviolent October, promoted in its twelfth year by the humanist collective “Espacio No Violento” and by various public institutions, social organizations, educational centers, and universities.
Some municipalities were central actors in this 2023: the Cantonal Council for the Protection of Rights (COPRODEM) and the Municipality of the canton Mejia sponsored the opening ceremony of the Nonviolent October, held in the city of Machachi, south of the capital. Likewise, some departments of the Metropolitan District of Quito joined in with enthusiasm.
More than 100 awareness-raising, violence prevention and training activities took place in the Equity and Justice Centers of the Social Inclusion Secretariat of the Metropolitan Municipality of Quito, in the nine territorial districts, with the participation of 4,000 people.
With “a colorful parade and messages for non-violence”, the Secretary of Education, Recreation and Sports of the Metropolitan Municipality of Quito closed in the north of the city, the strategic activities carried out by students and teachers of municipal schools throughout the month of October, the same that “promoted the awareness of their educational community in the valuation of peace and non-violence”.
“Bordar la Ternura” is a collective of embroiderers who weave blankets in the active memory of women murdered by femicide. This collective was present at the Nonviolent October with its message “There is no peace without justice”: “The support of our embroiderers in each lilac and green square makes visible the honor to our compass who are no longer here but from the firmament they surely see us”.
As in previous years, the global network PAV (“Proposals for Alternatives to Violence”) activated experiential training workshops on the themes of self-esteem, assertive communication, conflict resolution, and teamwork.
The academy was also present with the Latin American Faculty of Social Sciences (FLACSO Ecuador), which hosted the “Conversatorio For Peace and Nonviolence”, organized jointly by the “Ecuadorian Network of Faith”, “Acción No Violencia” and sponsored by the James Lawson Institute of the American University of Vanderbilt. “In the midst of violence, resilience comes from everyday acts, such as combing hair, braiding braids along with clothing, language, and traditions, which give spiritual power and community accompaniment.”
Humanizing Education is the dream of the International Network of Humanist Educators Peru-Ecuador, which shares tools for personal transformation and promotes actions for the construction of a Culture of Nonviolence. In October 2023 activated the call for a Gymkhana with challenges made by nineteen teams made up of children, young people, and teachers, with drawings, paintings, dances, theater, poems, and podcasts. An intergenerational Dialogue of readers for Peace and Nonviolence was another initiative that also integrated the families of the educational communities.
“Microaggressions-Macroimpact” was the campaign relaunched by young people from the humanist organization “Community for Human Development”, with the slogan “transform the norm”, and the slogans “Don’t let words mark your life, I don’t say microaggressions”.
The Rotary Club of Ecuador joined in this year 2023 dedicating its weekly radio program to the themes of Nonviolence, with the participation of representatives of the different groups and organizations that carried out their initiatives.
The closing event, held on October 30, ratified the commitment to “continue activating for nonviolence” with a plan of convergence in diversity and sustained throughout the year, because “we are many and diverse”. Some learnings shared by the actors: “to make visible everything we do”; “we learn from the experiences loaded with intention for Nonviolence”; and “…many people who want to do something different”; we need to reinvent ourselves.
In November the activities will continue: in Cusco the “Readers’ Dialogues for Peace and Nonviolence”. In Quito, the “Pedaleada Violeta” and the 8th fair “Coexisting in Peace”, organized by the Central University of Ecuador, the most important public university in the country and inspired by the “Fair of Nonviolent Initiatives”, a meeting that gave birth to the Nonviolent October more than a decade ago.