Out of War


Wilfrido is a boy who, lives in the Colombian civil war, and he is always fearing for his life. He is 17 years old and all his life, he avoided being forced into an armed group. Wilfrildo's dad left him ,and his mother when Wilfrido was 7 years old. Afterwards, they were always poor. He enventually got job and got money for his mother and himself.

Wilfrido's Home

Wilfrido lived in a barrio in Colombia. Assassins there would kill people just because they were in the streets, which were overrun by gangs. People were killed just because they were suspected of being part of an enemy group. Poverty was extreme; many people didn't have 50 cents to ride the bus.

Why Wilfrido Joined Peace Movement

When Wilfrido was thirteen, he went to his first meeting for children's rights. But his didn't take it seriously; he didn't want to be involved. But then he went to a UNICEF meeting and learned there were many ways to help people. So he joined the Return to Happiness to help kids.

Many people were afraid of Wilfrido. They thought he was in a gang. So Wilfrido dressed up in costumes to show the people what was happening. This drew kids out.

Wilfrido played games with the kids he was helping, such as La Pulga (the flea).

He helped kids such as 11-year-old David cope with the destruction of their homes and death of family when an earthquake struck the coffee bar of Colombia.

What Wilfrido Has Done to Promote Change

Wilfrido is working for UNICEF to help children. He says, "I have learned that there are many different ways of making peace. Every child we help, every volunteer we recruit, that is someone who can help us build a better community, a better country. Making peace isn't just about talking - it is about taking action."

He has been threatened about staying in his barrio and making speeches about peace, but he continues to serve UNICEF and other peace movements. He believes he has been saved from "drowning" because he hasn't been forced to join a gang.

What Wilfrido is Hoping For in the Furture

Wilfrido wants people to think positively about themselves and others. He believes that all you need are positive ideas. Then you can make a good life and build a good community.

He is hoping for new ideas and new movements in the future.