S²Cities Youth Leaders from Envigado Participate in Ecuadorian Exchange for Peace and Security
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S²Cities Youth Leaders from Envigado Participate in Ecuadorian Exchange for Peace and Security

In a remarkable exchange facilitated by Líderes para Gobernar, five winners of the S²Cities programme in Envigado, visited Quito, Ecuador, as part of the Cumbre Líder Lab – Young Leaders for the Reconstruction of Peace. This initiative brought together a diverse group of youth from Envigado, Colombia, and Ecuador to engage in meaningful discussions on security, peace, and innovative solutions. The young leaders’ arrival set the stage for an exchange of ideas, where the experiences of the Envigado youth, shaped by Colombia’s history of conflict, proved invaluable in addressing Ecuador’s current security crisis. Throughout the visit, participants delved into various activities, including visits to a socially responsible private company, the government palace in Quito, and the Ecu 911 emergency response headquarters.



Facilitated by event organisers, discussions were driven by the participants, creating a space for Ecuadorian youth to share their perspectives and explore collaborative solutions to security challenges. Notably, the intervention of Envigado’s youth emphasised the importance of avoiding vigilantism and entrusting justice to designated authorities. Safety issues prevalent in both territories, such as street harassment and discrimination, became focal points for shared dialogue. The S²Cities programme offered a unique lens for participants to critically analyse city dynamics in terms of security and coexistence.



In informal sessions, young leaders had the opportunity to showcase their initiatives.  Sebastián Rengifo, leader of the S²Cities winning initiative Sí Paz, presented his project and the impact it has had on his community, garnering great interest at the seminar attended by over 100 individuals. Beyond these presentations, the exchange sparked a desire among participants to continue collaborating, fostering a sense of connection and shared purpose. The exchange in Ecuador emerges as a powerful platform that not only facilitates cross-cultural understanding but also lays the groundwork for sustained collaboration and impact, as these young leaders strive to contribute to the reconstruction of peace in their communities!


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