FACT SHEET: Peace Education on Location in Bosnia and Herzegovina

Project Snapshot
Total Funding: $430,000
Start Date:  June 2013
End Date:  October 2015
Implementing Partner:  Helsinki Committee for Human Rights in Republika Srpska (HCHR)
 
The Challenge
Denial of war crimes and glorification of war criminals in Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH) prevents healing and perpetuates the pain of the war that ended almost two decades ago. The result is hatred, suspicion, segregation and fear, not only among citizens in local communities, but in political circles as well, at all levels of government and regionally, too. These underlying patterns of conflict are woven into the very fabric of day-to-day learning for BiH youth – in both the formal and informal environments in which young people learn about the past and develop the attitudes and value systems that shape them as adults. 
 
Our Program
USAID’s activity, Peace Education on Location, promotes inter-ethnic reconciliation by supporting joint activities for youth of different ethnic, political, and religious backgrounds. The goal is to help citizens understand and accept ethno-religious differences that present an impediment to lasting peace, reconciliation, and development in BiH. The activity will organize travelling schools in three regions in BiH to establish a sustainable process for revealing and addressing the hidden and explicit political narratives surrounding war crimes. The activity will develop an educational training program that will help breach the barriers of ethnic, religious, and political belonging among BiH youth, and allay the harsh attitudes that instigate conflict. 
 
Implementation and Expected Results
This activity will develop and test an innovative educational training package. The package will be used to promote inter-cultural dialogue and teach BiH teachers and youth the skills for conflict resolution on a personal and structural level. Local community leaders and representatives of centers and networks that deal with war crime sites and victims in both entities will help develop and implement the training package. This package will consist of curricula and a specific methodological approach, web-based tools, and examples of agents of change in local communities, such as trainers, community leaders, and representatives of NGOs. Participants (120 high school students) will be introduced and sensitized to elements in their local environment that instigate and escalate conflict and will learn mechanisms for peaceful conflict resolution. The schools and teachers will adopt conflict mitigation solutions that will enable them to become agents of social change and peace in their communities. The activity will gradually develop a network of training participants to promote and repeat the achievements of the activity. 
 

Last updated: November 21, 2013

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