The residents of the Middle Bosnia Canton are deeply divided along ethnic lines, hence we find here the unique phenomenon of the “two schools under one roof” in which the students are divided by ethnicity (Croats and Bosniaks). The same bell rings twice to start the classes. The sound is the same, but the students know the difference. They are being separated already in the school yard.
They know when it is ringing for the Bosniaks, and when for the Croats. Some of them take history classes called istorija/tn: word used by Bosniaks/, the others take history classes called povijest/tn: word used by Croats/. Some take geography classes called geografija /tn: Bosniaks/, the others zemljopis /tn: Croats/. What’s the difference? Only in name.
The lessons are the same, but the students are divided.
In such an atmosphere of the deep divisions, the Genesis Project has achieved excellent results for years already in merging these two communities through various activities which are financed by the German foundation SHL and UNICEF.
We organised numerous workshops, seminars, puppet shows and the like, in the schools and brought together the children and the teachers. Our bell rings for all at the same time. And they respond to it together. And enjoy being and working together, what the evaluation of our work confirmed more than once. We consider as our great success that we have been accepted and successfully working in such environment, and above all the fact that we bring together the divided groups and influence their future joint, and not at all divided, work.
As a particular success story, we would like to single out the One minute movies with the children in the Middle Bosnia Canton.
The One-minute movies are a unique UNICEF methodology through which the children express their opinions, attitudes, ideas or speak up about their problems and of their peers. During the five-day training, guided by their coaches, they learn everything about making such a movie, starting from writing scenarios to editing. Finally, as a result, each child has his own auteur film that lasts exactly 60 seconds. The One-minute movies were filmed with the children in Middle Bosnia.
The children of Middle Bosnia used their 60 seconds in the best possible way, and their attitude surprised the adults.
Gathered in one place, the students who have been raised in a deep division, separated because of their nationality, rang together with their messages more loudly than the schoolbell from the beginning of our story.
With the help of the Genesis Project trainers, they designed their movies, and in a creative and unique way pointed out to the problem of the deep divisions and growing up in such environment.
What we consider as our biggest success is that we have through our many years of work in the Middle Bosnia Canton, managed to raise the awareness among the youngest ones and point out tothem in a fun and creative, yet extremely educational way the necessity to overcome the differences that they were raised in.
How much they recognized those messages and how much they want to overcome the barriers and build together a better democracy and a life in which the differences will not exist demonstrate best the movies that they have designed on their own and filmed with the help of our trainers. The One minute movies by these children carry profound messages, and speak about their ability to identify a problem in their environment and the desire to overcome them.
Our success story is the best told by the movies of the students from the segregated schools of Middle Bosnia. For that reason we will let them end this story instead of us and therefore we enclose some links.