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Sponsor Bosnian-Herzegovinian youth to build peace

by Center for Peacebuilding
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Sponsor Bosnian-Herzegovinian youth to build peace
Sponsor Bosnian-Herzegovinian youth to build peace
Sponsor Bosnian-Herzegovinian youth to build peace
Sponsor Bosnian-Herzegovinian youth to build peace
Sponsor Bosnian-Herzegovinian youth to build peace
Sponsor Bosnian-Herzegovinian youth to build peace
Sponsor Bosnian-Herzegovinian youth to build peace
Sponsor Bosnian-Herzegovinian youth to build peace
Sponsor Bosnian-Herzegovinian youth to build peace
Sponsor Bosnian-Herzegovinian youth to build peace
Sponsor Bosnian-Herzegovinian youth to build peace
Sponsor Bosnian-Herzegovinian youth to build peace
Sponsor Bosnian-Herzegovinian youth to build peace
Sponsor Bosnian-Herzegovinian youth to build peace
Sponsor Bosnian-Herzegovinian youth to build peace

In August 2014, we held our 11th annual Peace Camp. 16 people took part in workshops aimed at understanding conflict, dealing with the past, and shaping Bosnia's future. From dealing with trauma, to envisioning a different Bosnia and Herzegovina, we saw youth between 17 and 33 years old change their understanding of the conflict, attitudes and behaviours. These young people are now equiped with skills to further reach young people in their own communities and facilitate peacebuilding activities. Below is an analysis of how change took place in this year's Peace Camp. 

Friendships with "the other"

The majority of participants had 10 or fewer friends from another ethnicity/religion, but thanks to PC those numbers changed to participants saying they had more than 10 friends from another ethnicity/religion after PC, and one respondent who had no friends of the other  before PC stated "Now I have two of them"

Do you think there will be another war in BiH?

 

Optimism about the country's future increased after the week. Before PC, people believed there would be another war (and NO ONE thought that Bosnia was definitely out of danger for another war). After PC, only 2 people answered "yes," that there would be another war, while the rest said no, or maybe.

 

Are better interethnic relationships possible? How?

 

-"Yes of course [better interethnic relations are possible], but we have to accept other religions"
- "It is necessary to learn about our differences in a way so they don't look like a threat."  
- "Getting to know young people from other ethnic groups."

 

7 respondents specifically cited increased communication and understanding - including through actually meeting and getting to know people from the other side - to help interethnic relations. 

 

How do you deal with personal conflict?

 

Before Peace Camp (herein after referred to as PC), most participants said they'd try to talk out conflict, while 2 said they were angry and silent and then just let it go. After PC, all respondents cited talking/dialogue/nonviolent communication as a means of dealing with personal conflict. 

 

Reduced Fear/Increased Trust in "the other"

 

Before PC, participants were mixed about spending time in a place where another ethnicity was the majority. One person said they "strongly disagreed" that they would be comfortable in that situation, while 3 others said they were "undecided." However,after PC, no single individual would be uncomfortable spending time in a town or city where they were the ethnic minority. 

 

This year's Peace Camp would not have happened without your generous support. Thank you once again for all your donations and support of any kind. The best time to make donations to our project is on bonus days, when they get matched. The next bonus day is on October 15th! 

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Our 2013-2014 Peace Camp has ended and we have been busy preparing for this year's training. 

We trained twenty young Bosnian people from across the country in overcoming trauma, stereotypes, and conflict, and empowered them to go back to their home communities to apply the learning by further facilitating peace activities. Each participant planned and implemented around 20 hours of workshops, and those who were the most active and keen to be involved in peacebuilding work in the long run, will be returning to the Camp this year, to help co-facilitate some of our workshops, this resulting in them becoming qualified trainers of trainers. 

Our next Peace Camp will be held on the 24th of August. We have recruited 20 more young participants. Based on feedback, we always try to improve at least one aspect of the training every year. In order to better evaluate our impact, we are now evaluating the participants both at the beginning and the end of the training, in order to be able to better measure the change that takes place in the 7 day training. We will then continue to monitor and evaluate progress as per usual throughout the year. 

This summer we also hosted two evaluators from globalgiving who came to help us improve our communications, reporting, and social media skills. We now have a new reporting strategy in place, and we will aim to get better at communicating the impact of training peace camp participants in their own communities. 

So far this year, you have helped us raise over $1000. Thanks to everyone who supports our cause, be it financial or not. 

In Peace, 

The CIM Team

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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)

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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. 

In Peace,

The CIM Team

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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.“

 

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Organization Information

Center for Peacebuilding

Location: Sanski Most, Una-Sana Kanton - Bosnia and Herzegovina
Website:
Project Leader:
Vahidin Omanovic
Sanski Most, Bosnia and Herzegovina
$35,810 raised of $50,000 goal
 
392 donations
$14,190 to go
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