Thomas Bradley (Peru)

Thomas (T.J.) Bradley (EPAF, Peru): TJ developed a deep interest in Latin America while studying as an undergraduate at Heidelberg University. Prior to his fellowship, he. worked in Lima with the Paul Lammermeier Foundation. TJ has also interned with USAID and United States Department of State. TJ was studying at the School of International Service at American University when he undertook his AP fellowship. At American, he volunteered with the American Red Cross and served on the editorial staff of the Journal of International Service. After his fellowship, TJ wrote: “It has been an incredible learning experience for me and has left me with many friends. I feel like we have accomplished much and I look forward to seeing all that they will do in the future.”

From Bosnia to Sacsamarca

17 Nov

Those that had been chatting previously had gone silent. It was the kind of sudden silence that grabs your attention…the kind that makes you look up and see why everyone has suddenly gone quiet. They didn’t know them but they felt everything they were feeling. They couldn’t understand them but they still heard every word. The looks on their faces told the story. Tears are tears, pain is pain and humans suffer and anguish no matter if they are in the Balkans or in the Peruvian Andes.

The women of Sacsamarca were watching a video of AP’s work in Bosnia with BOSFAM, an organization that AP has a long history with dating to the late 1990’s. AP began producing advocacy quilts with BOSFAM in 2006 and has gone on to have success with them and used this model for other quilting efforts around the world, including here in Peru.

We were demonstrating the idea and concept of the advocacy quilt by showing videos of the work that had been done in Bosnia and the types of quilts they had produced. They women of Sacsamarca were captivated by the images of the women of BOSFAM and watched intently as the video flashed on the freezing, bare wall of the municipality. They knew the same pain and confusion that those women were feeling and were reliving their own personal tragedies as they watched the video we projected.

It was a fascinating connection between the two countries and conflicts that I wasn’t expecting. It was strange that advocacy quilting had arrived to a remote village in the Andes all the way from the aftermath of the Balkans in the 1990s. Unfortunately, the need for advocacy quilts in post-conflict societies still exists due to the tragedies that both these communities have experienced. Hopefully, we have begun a process that will bring the attention to the people of Sacsamarca, and all of Ayacucho, that can make a real change in their lives. Only time will tell, but the connection has been made and we are off and running…

Posted By Thomas Bradley (Peru)

Posted Nov 17th, 2014

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