Alum Maureen Drennan's work about war victims in Colombia, featured in the Huffington Post

©Maureen Drennan  - Afro-Colombian youth prepare to perform for a small community that hosts many displaced families.

©Maureen Drennan  - Afro-Colombian youth prepare to perform for a small community that hosts many displaced families.

Photos Of Women And Children Survivors Tell A Different Story About Colombia’s Struggles “If I had experienced what they have, I don’t know if I would have the inner strength to be as optimistic and open.”

”You read and see on the news a certain portrait of Colombia which unfortunately highlights the violence, the paramilitary and other armed groups, and corruption ― if you hear news about Colombia at all,” photographer Maureen Drennan wrote in an email to The Huffington Post. “These aspects of Colombia are a reality, but not the only story.”

Just last weekend, on Oct. 2, Colombian citizens voted to reject a peace deal between the government, led by President Juan Manuel Santos and the guerrillas, also known as the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia or FARC. This decision leaves the future of the country, which has endured over 50 years of internal armed conflict, frightfully uncertain.

While the conflict persisting in Colombia threatens the military, government and civilians alike, it’s often women and children who suffer the brunt of the violence.

©Maureen Drennan - Taller de Vida and MADRE support children who have never known a life without war. Through creative workshops, these children learn how to express their fears and hopes in healthy ways.

©Maureen Drennan - Taller de Vida and MADRE support children who have never known a life without war. Through creative workshops, these children learn how to express their fears and hopes in healthy ways.

In 2015, Drennan traveled to Colombia, her camera in tow, along with an international women’s human rights organization called MADRE, supporting the rights of women and children and protecting survivors of war. MADRE partners with another organization called Taller de Vida, or “Workshop of Life,” which used art and activism to, as Drennan expressed, “promote healing for war survivors and build more peaceful communities.”

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