Greetings from Bosnia!
We've been busy lately, preparing to take the learning from Peace Camp slightly further, in communities accross Bosnia.
At the moment, most of our participants have finished the preparation stage, and are ready to implement the learning. Since August, the participants have had the time to take everything in, reflect on their experiences, and plan their next move.
The charming young man from the photo below is called Jasmin, and he is a participant from our town, Sanski Most. He has been actively involved in the our activities since he was in high school, and last August he was one of the participants of the Peace Camp. Jasmin has agreed to share what the Peace Camp has meant to him:
" It was great, and it was interesting for me because there were a lot of people that I didn't know from other cities, other religions, some older and others younger than me.I learned that all of us are equal but in a special way, and also that we are unique. I learned that if i am Bosnjak, I dont need to hate Serb or Croat people, we are the same. During war everyone can make mistakes, and I can't judge them or their children for it .We are also a part of that. I learnt that we need to talk about conflict in our communities, and our lives because the only way to resolve the problem is to talk about it and listen to other people's perspectives."
Medina is another participant from the 2012 Peace Camp and she also agreed to share some thoughts:
"It was a really great experience, we learned about non-violent communication and conflict resolution through workshops and dialogues.What was good for me is that every day we started with different prayer, muslim, catholic, orthodox, atheist etc.We also worked in small groups in which we were learining how to become good non-violent facilitators, as well as dialouge with participants about problems in our society nowdays and in our common past,we had opportunity to discuss the history of war and ethnically based prejudice in Bosnia and Herzegovina.What we can do now to make peace in our local community as well as in whole country between three different nations after the war.We still haven't done any workshops in Sanski Most, but we are planning to form a group of small children and to work with them about non-violent communication and conflict resolution, or to go to schools and have lectures about that topic.Our organisation made a big step in that field.We started with (self)help for war trauma in order to get over the psychological trauma.We have, every month or two, an event in city hall where one war victim talks about his/her bad experiences in war or time spent in concentration camp.While he talks about that everything is recorded.Our goal is to archive all these stories so we dont forget about things that happened in the war and hopefully there would be a book written about that.I think everyone should go through these seminars like Peace camp to learn about their past and possible bright future. Building trust is the foundation of the peace camp experience,to gain experience about peace and share with other people in their community about the war so that we can work on that the same thing never happen again."
Last year it was the first time when we could not secure the funding we needed from organisational or governement grants. Most of the funding for the peace camp came from you, our individual donors, who have supported us on globalgiving. Jasmin, Medina, and all the other participants could not have had the training were it not for your generous donations.
We aim to support our participants financially as much as we can with implementing activities in their own communities and therefore, we would really appreciate if you would share our project with friends, families, and anyone you may think would like to make a donation. Also, an annonymous donor has agreed to match recurring donations, in case you would like to consider this option.
Thank you so much for all your help, kindness and generosity. We owe the fact that we could hold the Peace Camp in 2012 to all of you. We'll keep you posted with updates on how our participants will use the training to make a change.
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Bosnia and Herzegovina
Bosnia and Herzegovina