COLOMBIA: Johanna Sanjuan

In this interview Johanna Sanjuan tell us of the political context in Colombia that impacts on the direction of education work in the organisation. She also shares her experience at YGAP

What is your organisation and your position there?  I work for ENS – Escuela Nacional Sindical, I am the director of education. ENS is an institution of research, education and defence action of workers’ rights.

What is the stance of the trade unions in Colombia towards the peace agreement between political groups? I think the unions in general support the peace agreement because it is an opportunity to become a more democratic society, and to have better work conditions. We are with the unions working for decent working conditions in our country.

What is ENS’ position on the peace agreement? We are working to support the peace agreement. We are working on the different themes that relate to the peace agreement for example better conditions for rural workers, because the situation of poverty is worse there.  For us it is important to work on the guarantees for social protection and citizen participation in political life of our country.

How do you focus on the peace agreement in your work? We are working for better education about the peace agreement for workers and unions. We are doing activities with some trade unions about lobbying, advocacy for non-violence, for better working conditions, for political life, for elections, different actions and participation in political parties, for more policies that recognise the diversity of our country. The recognition of unions is a very important thing in democracy.

Can you share your experience of YGAP with us?  YGAP has been a very important experience for me – for my job it is very important because I have new tools for worker education that can bring enrolment and new people to the unions, and to have better methodology and pedagogy of subjects that is important to the union.

This is been a great experience because these weeks have changed my mind, because things have ‘clicked’! Because you know you have to work together with others, but now I really understand how to work together, to work with almost nothing can lead to a big difference and a changed life, and this is possible if your work together.

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