Ime i prezime osobe zadužene za sprovođenje Politike zaštite djeteta: Saša Šarić 
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“We strive to harmonise the play with the sensibilities of children and the needs imposed by life in the 21st century. Our plays are alive, changing, growing and being upgraded during the performance in accordance with an interactive exchange with the children and their reactions. They are also accompanied by an interactive, educational exchange through which we learn about the children’s experience of the play and we modify it accordingly. Through our plays, we always try to “cover” the topics that are not part of the regular school curriculum, but for which there is a need and interest among children and young people in primary and secondary schools across Bosnia and Herzegovina, “said Dijana Pejić, Executive Director of the Genesis NGO Project from Banja Luka whose interactive amateur theatre has been entertaining and educating children across the country for years.

Dijana Pejic.

You recently had a premiere of a new play, “Open-Minded Me”, which is intended for teenagers. The play addresses the issue of prejudice and educates young people how to fight them. Can you tell us more about the process of making this play?

The screenplay for the play was written by children’s writer Jelena Kojević-Tepić, with constant consultations with the Genesis Project theatre actors and the Genesis Project team psychologist. We can surely say that it was a longer creative process, that some parts of the script were often changed, adjusted and altered. We tested the script on different youth groups to gain insight into how comprehensible, interesting and instructive it is. The main goal of this play was to encourage young people to think, to think critically about the society in which they live, and to open up opportunities for them to see the causal links between ignorance and closed society on the one hand and prejudices, stereotypes and generalisations on the other side.

How prevalent are prejudices and stereotypes among young people in our society?

Prejudices and stereotypes are present in all of us, we are all subject to them and under its influence. When we consider the post-war times, the economic situation, the media situation, the education system and many other factors, then we can be pleased to say that young people in this controversial society have outgrown their teachers and are much less susceptible to prejudice and stereotypes than we, the adults, are. We saw this by having the exchange with our young audience, which we have after each “Open-Minded Me” play, through which we discuss many questions with young people, such as “What is the message of this play?”; “Are the relations portrayed in the play a reflection of the real relations between people in your community? If so, how? What are the similarities / differences? “; “Do some interactions in the play correspond to some interactions in real life situations?”; etc.

Is the play a good way to convey the right message to them?

Yes, a play is certainly a good method for conveying messages like this, provided it is well thought out, interactive, current, witty and creative. Since we perform the plays, among other things, in small, rural areas, our play has the necessary strength and positive impact on the young people it is intended for. It opens new perspectives to them, offers alternatives in comparison to the so far ways of thinking while entertaining and amusing them at the same time.

How many young people will have the opportunity to see the show and what kind of results do you expect?  

It is planned that the “Open-Minded Me” play is performed 30 times throughout the project, in the municipalities of Banja Luka, Kozarska Dubica, Gradiška, Laktaši and Prijedor. We aim to have at least 2250 young people, ages 14-17 (elementary schools’ senior classes and secondary schools’ junior classes) see this play, in the 5 mentioned municipalities. So far, we have already contacted and agreed to cooperate with the administrations of 31 primary schools and 10 high schools, whose students will have the opportunity to watch the “Open-Minded Me” play for free. It is very important to emphasise here that the realisation of this play is possible thanks to the support of the Bosnia and Herzegovina Resilience Initiative (BHRI) program, implemented by the International Organisation for Migration (IOM), with the financial support of the United States Agency for International Development (USAID). The children, our audience, who come to us from rural parts of some municipalities, even have the fortune that, through this project, they have been provided with transportation to the Municipal Centre for Culture/Theatre where they can, for free, view our play, educate themselves and have fun at the same time.

Where can we announce the next performances?

In December, we are expecting 6 performances of the “Open-Minded Me” play at the Gradiška Cultural Centre. And during the second half of January, that is, after the end of the winter break, we continue to perform the plays in Laktaši and Prijedor. With the January plays, we would end our current collaboration with the International Organisation for Migration (IOM), with the hope that we will jointly consider continuing cooperation with some others municipalities and for the benefit of some other young people. We are sure that there is a need for this among young people, and also a desire on our part to offer them education in a different way.

 

Forest school

Puppets & empowerment

Whose are the angels

Games of forest dwarfs

Unicef and Genesis

Who are we

Genesis Project was founded by a group of local enthusiasts in February 1997. The end of the war in Bosnia and Herzegovina and devastation after the war led to the establishment of Genesis Project. Since then we have implemented numerous projects and activities.We are located in Banja Luka, and thanks to the municipality of Banja Luka, after eight years of operating in rented premises, we now have an office, owned by the city of Banja Luka, at our disposal. That helped us a lot and provided us with new options for the development of our work. Thanks to our mobile service the "Project Genesis" humanitarian organization operates at the national level, which means that different activities have been implemented in the territory of the entire Bosnia and Herzegovina.

Main objective of our work are

Mission

Genesis Project is a non-governmental organization which, through its professional and dedicated team, helps children and adolescents throughout Bosnia and Herzegovina in fulfilling their rights to have a free and correct psychophysical development, regardless of their religious, ethnic or racial belonging whilst respecting their individual differences and potential.

Vision

Bosnia and Herzegovina is a free and open society that will enable every individual to develop and assert to their full capacity and to become a happy, conscious and free person, capable of thinking critically and acting creatively.

Dijana Pejić was born in 1974 in Banja Luka where she attended primary school and secondary school of electrical engineering.
Upon completion of Business School in Belgrade, she gained her undergraduate degree in economics in the Faculty of Economics in Kragujevac.
She has been active in the NGO sector since 1995, when she got a position of a project coordinator at the U.S. Committee for Refugees.

She founded the Genesis Project NGO in 1996 in Banja Luka. Since then she has implemented dozens of successful projects throughout Bosnia and Herzegovina.
Being responsible for program management, financial management, designing projects and human resources, Dijana has been successfully manage a small team, which has been part of Genesis, for the most part, from the very beginning. The success story has been going on for 18 years, and its best evidence are the results achieved and the children's smiles elicited by Dijana’s team members wherever the road takes them.

Azra Talić was born in 1952, in Banja Luka, where she completed her elementary and high school education as well as the teachers' college. She continued her education at the Faculty of Philosophy in Sarajevo, where she acquired a title of the professor in psychology and pedagogy.

In her extensive experience Azra worked as an educator and counsellor in a kindergarten and as a psychologist and counsellor in an elementary school. Her following position was in the CARE Canada organisation, as a psychologist.

She became part of the Genesis Project team in 1998, and she has been actively participating in numerous projects, being equally successful as a teacher and psychologist however as a poet too. Thanks to her imagination, a large number of songs and plays were created that a travelling interactive theatre of the Genesis team entertains and educates the little ones with all over BiH. And, in Azra’a imagination there is always room for new and creative ideas that are just waiting to come alive in some future project.

Draško Stojčević was born in 1975 in Banja Luka, where he completed his primary education and secondary school of electrical engineering and then the Faculty of political sciences, Department of Journalism and Communication.
Since the foundation of the Genesis Project, Draško has been a member of the team. While working in this organization, he attended a number of advanced seminars and completed the training for the SALW and Mine Risk Education Instructor. After training for the design and production of the one-minute films for young people, he produced a great number of one-minute films across Bosnia and Herzegovina. Within the projects he worked on and also successfully implemented, Draško was bringing joy to the little ones through various roles he has enlivened in a number of plays and TV serials. Pečurko (Mushroom man) in the "Game of forest dwarfs," associate teacher in "Whose are the angels", deminer in the "The strange trial" are just some of his roles. Always smiling and popular among children, is a recognizable member of the merry Genesis team and a traveling interactive theater.

Ljubiša Vasić was born in 1975 in Banja Luka, where he completed his primary education and secondary school of electrical engineering and then the Faculty of Philosophy.
He acquired the title of a class teacher in 2009, and for the work in the NGO sector he got further education both through seminars and trainings. Among other things, he completed the training for the SALW and Mine Risk Education Instructor. Ljubiša has been a member of the Genesis Project team since 1996. He has worked on the implementation of a large number of projects, and children and young people easily recognize him by a wide smile and a number of roles that embodied through entertaining and educational shows and TV serials of Genesis.
Professor Mudrić (Brainy) from the "Whose are the angels" TV series, a teacher from the "Forest School" TV series, Borko (Pine man) in the "Game of forest dwarfs ", a strict judge in the "The strange trial", are some of the roles that youngest ones remember him gladly by.

Saša Šarić was born in 1974 in Banja Luka, where he completed his primary education and secondary school of electrical engineering, after which he enrolled at the Higher Business School in Belgrade.
He has been part of the Genesis team from the founding of the organization, and through a number of seminars he was additionally trained to work on humanitarian educational projects.
He also completed the training for the SALW and Mine Risk Education Instructor and he attended the training on the design and production of one-minute films.
During his work in Genesis, Saša took part in the implementation of a large number of successful projects throughout Bosnia and Herzegovina - from educational workshops for children, through production of TV shows, to the prevention of peer violence. He is also active in fundraising.

Goran Radić was born in 1967 in Banja Luka. After completing primary education and secondary school of electrical engineering in this city, he completed several advanced seminars, as well as advanced training for project managers for MRE and firearms.
He gained his BSc degree in economy in the Faculty of eeconomy in Apeiron University, Banjaluka. After eight years of work in the "Rudi Čajavec" company, Goran has joined the Genesis Project team in 1998, initially as a volunteer and since 2003 as a full member. Among other trainings and seminars, he also attended the training on the design and production of one-minute films. He took part in a number of successful projects and his greatest contribution is emphasized through management of projects for mine risk education and firearms. Goran is actively working in the highly vulnerable mine-affected communities throughout Bosnia and Herzegovina and its primary mission is to educate children how to save their lives and have a carefree childhood while growing up near the mines and constant danger.

Dijana Miljatović was born in 1972 in Prijedor, where she completed primary and high school education, upon which she studied English language and literature at the Faculty of Philosophy in Banja Luka.
A large portion of her working life Dijana spent in the field as an interpreter, and in this capacity, she worked for the ICTY too. She is one of the cofounders of the Association of single parents, "Ponos" and a current chairwoman. She is also a coordinator of numerous humanitarian actions and within the association executes the function of a project manager as well as, when required, of the spokesperson.
She joined the Genesis Project in 2012, first as a volunteer, and since July 2013 as a permanent member. Employed at the administrative assistant, she is a necessary logistic support of this successful team.

Sandra Josović was born in 1977 in Slavonski Brod. She completed elementary and secondary school education in Banja Luka. She gained her BSc degree in political scientists in journalism and communications in the Faculty of Political Sciences in Belgrade. As a journalist, she worked in several Belgrade media during her studies, and after returning to Banja Luka, she spent eight years in the Nezavisne newspaper, a year as a reporter and then as the editor of several columns and the Sunday edition. She continued her journalistic career on the website for health as a chief editor where she worked for two years. After this experience, she undertook the position of the Executive Director of the International Film Festival Kratkofil Plus.
She was joining the Genesis Project team occasionally as an associate and then as a new member in September 2013. Along the assistance in the implementation of projects, she is responsible for the design of portal’s content, as well as to communicate with the media.