DONOR: Stiftung Schüler Helfen Leben Germany, UNICEF Bosnia and Herzegovina and US Embassy in BiH
DURATION: December 2011 – January 2014
LOCATION: Municipalities: Kiseljak, Busovaca, Vitez, Fojnica, Jajce, Bugojno and Gromiljak
OVERALL GOAL: The overall objective of the project is to create a safe school environment in segrageted 16 schools, through the implementation of social inclusion model, to educate the participants of the project on the skills of peaceful conflict resolution and communication skills and to motivate participants to organize joint activities.
-Building a safe and stimulating environment for children.
-Influence on building trust and changing attitudes among different ethnic groups as a precondition to create a safer environment in schools.
-Educating the project participants about the communication skills and peaceful conflict resolution.
-Improving communication and cooperation between the divided ethnic groups (Bosniaks and Croats).
Divided schools are two schools/two legal entities who exist under the same roof/in the same building and are following two different curriculums: Bosniak and Croat and in which children and schoolteachers are strictly separated on the basis of their national and religious belonging. A child is the basic beneficiary of the education and a large part of Bosnia and Herzegovina society tries to make process in education even more difficult, it tries to slow down development, to prevent child/children to think openly and to form their own critical point of view. The saddest thing that we recognized is that children are used as means of deepening the conflict and the promotion of segregation and intolerance. Common sense, logic and instinct tell us that things are not as they would like to present them to us. We were almost certain that simple, honest and good people in Bosnia and Herzegovina do not wish life “side by side” but that they wish to live with each other. We were almost certain that citizens of Bosnia and Herzegovina have become hostages of their national leaders.
The overall objective of the project was to create safe school environments in 16 schools through educational and pedagogical work in class communities. The objective was to educate direct beneficiaries about peaceful conflict resolution and communication skills and to motivate beneficiaries to organize joint actions.
Project has been implemented among 10,000 pupils and 180 schoolteachers, who were attending segregated and divided schools in following municipalities in Middle Bosnia canton: Kiseljak, Busovača, Vitez, Fojnica, Jajce, Bugojno, Gromiljak.
Communication and cooperation among segregated and divided ethnic groups has improved. Direct beneficiaries (pupils) have been educated about communication, peaceful conflict prevention and other project selected topics. In the schools that participated in similar projects during the previous years, communication and cooperation among schoolteachers has continued and has improved.
We have managed to open communication between children – members of different ethnic groups. Results of research conducted previously, in which we found out that parents had no objections to their children participating in joint educational activities with children of other nationalities, have been additionally confirmed through this project since parents provided their full support to this project. We would like to emphasize that children have no obstacles to spending time and learning together with children of different nationalities. This confirms our presumption that the story about “impossibility of coexistence and living together” is imposed by political parties and politicians.
Finally we have gained the trust, without any reservations, from the side of the Middle Bosnia canton Ministry of Education and we have managed to remove suspiciousness that we, as non-governmental organization, affirm “one specific political option” or “conspiracy from the outside world”.
We would also point out that building up of the trust and cooperation among different ethnic groups was decreasing the risk of peer-violence in schools and having a direct influence on the development of a peaceful surrounding in which children are growing up.