Lisandro Tumay Silva (pictured above), 22 years old, is a member of the Yopal indigenous community of Casanare, Colombia. As a child, he fished in the Meta river with his father to sustain his family. Like the majority of boys, girls, and youth, Lisandro had many hopes and dreams for his future. One of those dreams was to become a member of the Armed Forces of Colombia in order to spark positive change in his country which has been heavily affected by armed conflict and transnational criminal organizations.
Thanks to generous funding from the United States’ Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs (INL) project, #BecasINL, and the completion of a 2-year academic and practical training, Lisandro graduated as a Second Sailor at the Barranquilla Non-Commissioned Officer School of the Colombian National Navy in July of 2021. By graduating, Lisandro has achieved his goal, consolidated his life project, and proudly become an agent of change in service of his country. The #BecasINL Project, implemented by PADF, aims to empower and provide opportunities to Afro-Colombians, young people from rural areas, indigenous people, and women, to fulfill their dream of joining the Colombian National Police and National Navy.
On International Youth Day, PADF congratulates Lisandro and all youth throughout Latin America and the Caribbean, particularly youth from indigenous communities.
Thematic Director – Peace, Justice, and Security