Long-time associates of the Genesis Project Iva Klarić, Borka Matić and Đenan Hodžić have been nominated for a prestigious award, given by a German foundation “Überbrücken” ( “Building Bridges”), named “Integrationspreis” (Award for integration). The teachers or educators who are engaged in reconciliation and education are being awarded by this award. On this occasion the humanitarian organisation “Genesis Project” was contacted:
“We were contacted with a request to name a maximum of three associates for that award and that, along with their nomination, delivered a brief explanation as to why we think they deserve a reward for integration ‘Integrationspreis’. That’s not been an easy task. Since we are in touch with a number of close associates, mostly teachers, it was not easy to pick just three candidates. After a meeting of the team and a lot of thought, we decided to nominate Ivo, Borka and Đenan. I want to mention that we could have appointed a lot of excellent assistants / teachers from the schools we work closely with and we certainly hope that we will have the opportunity to do it some other time, “said the executive director of the Genesis Project, Dijana Pejic.
These associates are notable for their qualities and achievements, which is best illustrated by their resumes.
Iva Klarić graduated from the Faculty of Theology and teaches the Catholic religion in the Primary school “13. Rujan” in Jajce (which works under the same roof with school “Berta Kučera” – schools work in one building with two curricula”). Sister Iva was born in 1972 and she has been an active participant of all Genesis Project joint activities implemented in the divided school in Jajce for the past 6 years. She was the initiator of the exchange between religious teachers, i.e. she was the first one who held classes for the Bosniak pupils, during the Islam religion classes in the PS “Beter Kučera”. She thought them about the topic “Different but connected”. She also invited the Orthodox priest to give lecture to the pupils of the Catholic religion about life and organisation of the Orthodox Church. She is an active participant of all inter-religious activities, she opens inner-religious dialogues and cooperation and she promotes the religion classes as foundation for peace building, reconciliation and life together for all three major religions living in Jajce. Sister Iva is very flexible, open, tolerant, she often participates in different competitions such as different knowledge quizzes. She also participates in the religious poetry festivals and organises and facilitates inner-religious concerts in Jajce.
Borka Matić was born in 1973 in Vitez, Middle Bosnia canton. She works as a deputy principal of the Primary school “Vitez” in Vitez (this school works under the same roof with school “Vitez” for the Bosniak pupils – schools work in one building with two curricula). Mrs Matić graduated Philosophical faculty- department for Primary school education”. She has been an active participant in all Genesis Project joint activities implemented in the divided school in Vitez for the past 6 years. It is important to emphasise that Mrs Matić helps the Genesis Project during the organisation of all joint activities implemented among pupils, parents and schoolteachers. She honestly promotes tolerance, cooperation and she strongly fights against the discrimination of any kind. Following these believes, she has always been supporting the Genesis Project in conductance of different activities that are of interest for the pupils and the school. She is a very active participant of all educational seminars, lectures and workshops but with special proudness she emphasises her participation in the two-month seminar in Japan “Building education network for peace”. She was also an active participant of the 14-days seminar “The Teacher, The School and The building of the peace” in Norway. As a person, Mrs Matić is proactive, tolerant and of great help to all of her colleagues and associates.
Mr Đenan Hodžić was born in 1970 in Zenica. He graduated the Faculty of humanistic sciences in Mostar – Department of English language and literature. He is a principal of primary school “Kaćuni”, which operates under the Bosniak curriculum, in a small village Kaćuni in the Middle Bosnia canton. A satellite school “Kaćuni” is located in the primary school “Busovača” (which operates under the Croat curriculum) and two schools are operating in one building with two curricula. As a school principal, he always manages to motivate his schoolteachers well so continuously invest the efforts to improve the quality of education and upbringing. Mr Hodžić insists that his school and the schoolteachers are very open to the cooperation with non-governmental organisations, associations of citizens and sport clubs whose programs fit well in spreading the ideas of coexistence, tolerance and democracy. He often organises joint sports events and creative workshops for pupils of both major ethnic groups (Bosniaks and Croats). In cooperation with the Genesis Project and UNICEF he organised the visit of the UNICEF Ambassador Mr Edin Džeko which made the students of his school particularly fascinated. During the three school years, in close cooperation with the Dutch organisation “Europe Kinderhulp”, he organised an inter-cultural exchange of 110 pupils enabling them to learn about different cultures, traditions and customs. In cooperation with the “Out of Area” from the Netherlands, Mr Hodžić organised staying and working of Dutch students with pupils from his school. Guided by this successful cooperation, he motivates the Dutch students to help in the process of improving working conditions in the PS “Kaćuni”, and through the organisation of the workshops with the pupils the Dutch students also helped to improve the aesthetic conditions in the school. Mr Hodzic, together with the Dutch students, also organised the visit of his students to the ”Kids Festival” in Sarajevo. He regularly supports and organises different sports events in the Middle Bosnia canton and Zenica-Doboj canton, he is dedicated to the pedagogical work with children, and is open for cooperation with all organisations that could help the improvement of the conditions in which the children learn and work. Mr Hodžić is extremely tolerant, cooperative and a noble person.
These biographies show that all three of our candidates deserve the prize for which they have been nominated. The names of the winners are not yet known, but Dijana Pejic says that she sincerely hopes that at least one of the nominated associates of the Genesis Project will take the title. Until the announcement of the winners, we are rooting for Ivo, Borka and Đenan!