In the aftermath of a war, often the conflict remains. Such is the case of Bosnia. From the individual level to the socio-political, division, nationalism, segregation, and trauma are obstacles to rebuilding a peaceful society. We work to empower youth to change the future of their generation and those to come. Our Peace Camp provides 25 young people from all over Bosnia with the skills they need to transform their local communities and actively advocate for social change.
The main problem with the post war peacebuilding strategy in Bosnia is that it separated the country into two entities, which ultimately led to extreme nationalist rhetoric and ethnic segregation, acting as barriers to creating a peaceful, multiethnic, and pluralist society. This separation means that Bosnian youth have few opportunities to interact with youth from other ethnic backgrounds, and so generation after generation, politics of division prevail, affecting society at all levels.
Peace Camp consists of a weeklong training of young participants. We seek to address personal past traumas (deal with the past) and inspire 20 participants to become involved in facilitating peacebuilding activities in their home communities. As part of the programme, the youth are required to implement at least 20 hours of peace activities following the training, equalling over 400 hours of peace education workshops across the areas the participants come from.
Research on our peace camp's long term impact has shown that participants have witnessed a 65% success rate for the activities implemented in their home communities. Success is often described as young people getting more involved in volunteering, developing close relationships with members of other ethnic groups, and seeing a positive change in the attitudes and behaviours of children.Some of our alumni have now become leaders in their communities, developing new initiatives and organisations.