As we've reached the third report on our annual peace camp, it means we're also starting to get ready for the 2014 training. We are currently updating the programme based on reflections and feedback from last year in order to improve out content and keep up with the times. Oh, and how the times have changed!
Since our last update we have been pleasently surprised by the legacy of our programme. Peace Camp alumni have shown so much dedication to better our society. In our training we aim to work on a personal transformation as well as giving participants the tools to become activists for change in their societies. After 10 years of doing this programme, the fruit of our work is starting to become more and more visible. Our Bosnian youth have moved from the very ground level to participating in change at the political and societal level. They have made their voices heard, have formally written requests to the government, and still tiredlesly advocate for peaceful social change in Bosnia. We couldn't be more proud to work with our young generation.
We will soon begin to advertise the training and recruit participants. In about a month's time we will also start to make arangements for the peace camp. We wish to be in touch more with our supporters who don't live in Sanski Most, and we are using our twitter account to achieve this. If you are tweeting, follow us here: https://twitter.com/CIMPeace We post news from Bosnia and updates from CIM. We have also discovered that our facebook followers do not get our updates. The recent changes made it harder for us to connect with those who like our facebook page. If you have followed us, go to our facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/SanskiMostPeace?fref=ts click on "liked" and then tick "get notifications". This is the only way our updates will reach you without having to pay for advertising.
Finally we would like to make an appeal to our donors to support us to fund our 2014 peace camp. May 7th is the best day to donate this spring, as all donations will be matched by 30%. There is also a bonus prize of $1000 for the project who gets most donations in one day. If the report does not reach you in time, every small gesture helps, whether it is a regular donation, a fundraiser, a tweet, sharing our page on facebook, or simply emailing your friends and family and telling them why this project is important to you and why people should support us. Being recommended by our supporters have helped us get where we are today.
With love and appreciation,
The CIM Team (M, V, and our hardworking volunteers)
There have been several days of unrest in Bosnia in the past few days. At the Center for Peacebuilding we have supported peaceful protests and we are doing all we can to advocate for nonviolence.
Peace Camp participants have been present at protests around the country trying to advance principles of non violent conflict resolution. In Zenica, young people affiliated with CIM have helped clean up the city, and have taken part in writing formal requests to the governement. CIM volunteers have also used social media to raise awareness of the implications of damaging public buildings and using violence to advance a message of social change.
The international media has reported that the violence in Bosnia has not been seen since the end of war. The movement was started in order to pressure the governement to implement reforms that will lead to development both social and economic. It is also the first time since the war that such an explansive movement has united people to advance a message of positive change. Our efforts are to keep advocating for change by peaceful means and support our peace camp alumni in their pursuit of change in their local communities.
Thank you for your support, and please share out mission in order to raise awareness of our programme. On Wednesaday the 12th Globalgiving is matching all donations by 30%. Thank you all for your messages, and kind support without which we could not continue training and supporting our local, talented youth.
The CIM Team
The Center for Peacebuilding (CIM) held its tenth annual Peace Camp near Bihac, Bosnia and Herzegovina from August 24th to 30th. This year, 22 Bosnian youth representing various ethnic and religious groups from all over the country attended, as well as international peacebuilders from the United States, Canada, Belgium, Poland and the Czech Republic. Four Bosnian participants were selected to attend Peace Camp for a second time in order to serve as small group leaders and facilitators. At the conclusion of the Camp, they received Trainer of Trainers certificates from CIM with the hope that the certificates will help them organize similar peacebuilding events in Bosnia in the future.
During Peace Camp, CIM staff worked hard to create a safe and open environment for the participants. The participants were intentionally given time to socialize with each other in order to provide them with space to develop interethnic and interreligious relationships. During Peace Camp, the particiants gained skills in peacebulding through interactive workshops on nonviolent communication, identity, stereotypes, conflict resolution and reconciliation. They also underwent a training course in nonviolent communication for children and received certificates at the conclusion of the Camp illustrating thier completion of the course. Each morning, Peace Camp began with a time for worship from different faith traditions, which provided the participants with an opportunity to learn about religions different than their own and to come together for prayer, meditation and reflection.
Throughout Peace Camp, through facilitated dialogue, CIM staff encouraged participants to examine the negative stereotypes they hold about individuals from different ethnic and religious groups and begin taking steps to overcome some of the anger and fear they feel towards the other. CIM staff also spent time helping participants address past traumas and the heavy emotions attached to them.
One participant, Amina for Gorazde, shared her thoughts on her Peace Camp experience:
„Peace Camp led me into a totally different reality from the one I knew. I expected to meet new friends and gain some new experiences and skills. However, I got a lot more than that. I met fantastic people and I learned a lot of new things and gained a new perspective of myself and others around me. I learned that facing everyday situations while carrying past traumas and pain is really hard. Peace Camp is a place where I felt safe sharing all that I carry inside of myself. At Peace Camp, I was able to share my stories and feelings and hear other people’s stories and feelings. During Camp, we became members of one big family. It was calming and inspiring to spend time with a group of people who believe in peace. My true advice for anyone who has not participated in CIM’s Peace Camp, is to take a chance and join.“
On the 24th of August 2013 we will be starting the 10th Peace Camp organised by CIM in Bosnia and Herzegovina. Looking back on what we have achieved motivates us to continue this training, although since last year we have not managed to secure any major grants for our project.
Only in the past 3 years we have trained 77 active peacebuilders that went back to their home communities and implemented peace activities. The number of applications we recieve for the training has gone up by 60% in the last 3 years, and this year we recieved around 100 applications.
With your support for last year's peace camp, we managed to train 34 new peacebuilders, 32 from Bosnia and 2 internationals. If we multiply that by 20 hours of required peace activities that they implemented, that will result in 680 hours of workshops, presentations, and peace activities through art. During the peace camp we witnessed openess, tranformation, conflidence building, and more and more desire from people to stand up to the legacy of the Bosnian conflict.
Last week we hosted a former volunteer who came back to do an in-depth research of the impact of Peace Camp. Although the results they gathered won't be published for a few months, they found out that the feedback was overwhelmingly positive, and that the ripple effect of the Peace Camp is outstanding.
In the final weeks before our Peace Camp starts again, we appeal to our globalgiving donors to help us fund this year's project. As was the case last year, we do not have the funds to fully implement it, and at this point we could only accept 22 participants. Your donations, no matter how small or generous, have helped us to train the 34 participants last year, and that was solely due to our campaign on global giving. Please consider making a small donation again, on the eve of the 2013 Peace Camp.
Vahidin Omanovic, Mevludin Rahmanovic, and the CIM team
Summer is almost here, and so we're getting ready for our annual Peace Camp again.
We have started making the necessary preparations in terms of accommodation and project planning. We are constantly reflecting on our practice so for this year we will revise previous feedback and make sure we improve and give more for this year's training.
We have started to advertise in order to recruit new potential leaders for our programme. As well, since our project is not fully funded yet, we ask again that you consider giving a small donation. Last year we could not secure grants, and so it was all your generous donations that made a difference and helped us held our training.
Please consider making another donation and help us fully fund this year's Peace Camp. You can help in many ways from sharing the link, organising fundrasing, and generally spreading the word. Also, if you wish you can set up a recurring donation for the remaining 4 months.
As always we'll keep you posted with the progress we make.
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Bosnia and Herzegovina
Bosnia and Herzegovina