FACT SHEET: Trust-Understanding-Responsibility for the Future in Bosnia and Herzegovina (PRO-Future)

Project Snapshot

Total Funding:  $4,235,889*
Start Date:  September 2013
End Date:  September 2017
Implementing Partner:  Catholic Relief Services
    Core Local Partners:
    - MOZAIK Foundation
    - Forum of Tuzla Citizens
    - Helsinki Citizens Assembly
    - Caritas of Bishop Conference
*Includes 15% matching funds from CRS

The Challenge

Deep ethnic divisions continue to paralyze the healing process and prevent Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH) citizens from realizing their country’s potential as a land- and resource-rich member of the EU. Conflicting historical and political narratives that place blame for the war on each other define the perceptions and attitudes of people at every age and level of society. As a result, achieving reconciliation and improving social well-being and economic prosperity is arduous, at best. BiH society needs to restore trust and healthy relationships among the people of its multiple ethnic and religious groups.

Our Program

USAID’s project, Trust-Understanding-Responsibility for the Future, provides opportunities for leaders and citizens of BiH to challenge and transform their own beliefs about one another, and then start transforming their communities. The activity is based on the premise that if people adopt new, positive attitudes and thus change their behavior toward each other, then they will gradually begin to trust each other’s intentions and engage and collaborate on issues of common concern. Through ongoing engagement, a sense of social trust will emerge. In the resulting atmosphere of solidarity and consensus, citizens will turn their attention to their common needs and, thus, their political leaders, and hold them accountable for fostering political, economic and social stability in their communities.

Implementation and Expected Results

This project will engage more than 100,000 citizens in 30 target municipalities – 15 pairs of communities that have been divided along ethnic lines since the war. Activities will include trainings, peace camps, speaking-out events, cultural events, small grants and community initiatives. Through inter-group dialogue and learning, the people of BiH can reflect on past events and turn toward the future and begin to collaborate on building a country that is based on the values of tolerance and diversity. The project will reach out and work with young people, women, minority returnees, and civil society organizations (war victims associations, local grassroots initiatives, NGOs), as well as the media and key elected government, religious, and education leaders. The project will engage BiH’s leaders and other key influencers in a National Steering Committee and in Municipal Working Groups as a strong foundation of support for building consensus and trust, and ultimately, reconciliation. By serving as role models for citizens and demonstrating a previously unobserved openness to dialogue and progress, BiH’s key influencers will contribute to the long-term political and economic stability of the country.

For more information, please contact:

Goran Bubalo, Chief of Party, USAID PRO-Future Project, at goran.bubalo@crs.org.

Last updated: March 04, 2014

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