By The Phelps Stokes Team
This is My Territory is an Afro-Colombian group consisting of 27 members. It is a group of young people who once struggled with hunger, violence, homelessness, but they have all come together to create music. They believe that music is an apt medium to spread their message and the central message is that they are fighting for their land. With no place to call home, many young adults live like nomads in Colombia.
The band was created last December at an urban music festival. The event was created to allow youths the opportunity to speak out against the violence in Buenaventura. Buenaventura acts as a haven for those displaced by violence between illegal armed groups. There are about 75,500 displaced Colombians living in Buenaventura.
The family structure in Colombia has been affected as a result of the violence. One of the group members was displaced in 2006, he expressed that it was easier to leave his home than to fight off the rebels. The displaced youths have had a limited education and struggle on a daily basis. Never admitting defeat, the young people are rallying to work in the building of homes and public projects to further establish a community.
For more information about This is My Territory, visit www.trust.org.