MEDELLIN, Colombia, Dec. 1, 2016 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- In an effort to give voice and visibility to the more than six million internally displaced persons (IDPs) in Colombia and the challenges they face in accessing healthcare services and other public services, the U.S. based, non-profit organization Open Hands Initiative (OHI), in partnership with the University of Antioquia School of Medicine (UdeA), is hosting a photo exhibit and panel discussion entitled Caras De Granizal (Faces of Granizal) in Medellin, Colombia on Thursday, December 1, 2016.
The photo exhibit gives witness to the challenges faced by IDPs through the perspective of the Granizal community, the second largest community of IPDs and also one of the poorest. Beyond statistics, by showcasing daily life in Granizal, the exhibit connects viewers to the values and hopes that are common to us all: good health, safe neighborhoods, participation in political processes, and opportunity.
"Resolving the issues faced by Granizal requires the skillful useful of diplomacy to engage and build solidarity among a wide range of actors. By connecting local and regional government officials, multilateral and other non-government organizations, we hope to help build pathways of cooperation and vested long-term interests," says OHI chairman and founder, Jay T. Snyder.
Mr. Snyder added, "This exhibit will enable a wide range of society to speak on these issues and for the community to speak for themselves. We are grateful for the opportunity to work with such a dedicated team at UdeA and such an inspiring group of individuals in Granizal, who in many ways, teach us how to unite to create progress, something that is particularly relevant in the United States these days."
Through Caras de Granizal, OHI and UdeA hope to keep the momentum of the community's efforts – improved access to public services such as healthcare and education, improved infrastructure such as roads and sanitations systems, and the rights to their land – going and going strong. By convening a multitude of stakeholders such as government officials from both Medellin and Bello, members of international organizations such as WHO and UNDP, an array of faculty members from the University of Antioquia, and non-profit organizations such as La Casa de los Derechos, OHI and UdeA recognize that addressing the community's challenges will take the active participation and support of all members of society – as the issues are multi-faced and cross-sectored.
The photo exhibit will debut at the Museum of Modern Art in Medellín, Colombia and is expected to tour the rest of the country in 2017, while making an international appearance in the United States early next year. Caras de Granizal is an outcome of an early collaboration between OHI, UdeA, and Harvard Humanitarian Initiative, entitled "Post-Conflict Colombia and Public Health" project, a three-week academic and health diplomacy exchange. The Project investigated and developed practical solutions to public health issues affecting a displaced population. Faculty and students worked in partnership with Granizal leadership to host a health fair benefiting the community and develop public health interventions on issues identified and prioritized by the community. A subsequent briefing report was shared with members of the Colombian and U.S. governments, the private sector, and civil society.
Follow the event using the hashtag #CarasDeGranizal
About Open Hands Initiative
The Open Hands Initiative is a U.S.-based non-profit organization dedicated to improving people-to-people understanding and international friendship through exchanges and other projects that focus on our basic shared values and common humanity. It was founded in 2009 by Jay and Tracy Snyder.
About The University of Antioquia
Established in 1803 under the name of Real Colegio de Franciscanos, and under the Constitution of the State of Antioquia, Universidad de Antioquia is a government-run public university based in Medellín, Colombia. Its mission is to generate, develop and disseminate knowledge in a wide range of disciplines including humanities, science, arts, philosophy, technics and technology through research, teaching and extension activities. Universidad de Antioquia offers nationally accredited undergraduate and graduate degrees and post-baccalaureate programs that are delivered through both face-to-face and distance learning methods.
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SOURCE Open Hands Initiative