There are ongoing workshops being held on the psychological resilience of children during the pandemic for 100 students from ten elementary schools in Bugojno, Busovača, Fojnica, Jajce and Divičani, as part of the “Bridges of Trust and Cooperation” project implemented by the Genesis Project. The goal of this project is to reduce the undesirable consequences of the pandemic on children and young people and to build their psychological resistance to stress.
The students participate in workshops where they learn about emotions and how to live with them, about empathy, communication, anxiety and how to overcome it. They also learn how they can hold workshops with their peers.
“At the very beginning, there was a fear of what would be like in online workshops, without live contact, regarding such subtle topics as fear and anxiety,” emphasizes Ljubiša Vasić, one of the facilitators of the workshops. “But after the first workshop, we saw that the children are extremely interested, that they like the way of work and that they are extremely curious,” adds Ljubiša.
The children participate in workshops together, sit in the same classroom and socialize. The messages they sent to facilitators saying that they met new friends, that the day they have the workshops is their favorite part of the school day best describe how much they enjoy or as one student wrote: “I was very happy and smiling at the workshops, I didn’t feel sadness or boredom that would distract me from such beautiful things.” The students further add that the topics discussed are very useful and that most peers talk little about them. They believe that their emotions should be shown, not kept to themselves.
“Teachers from schools participating in this project are an extended hand of the facilitator. They are the ones who contribute to the pleasant, positive and healthy atmosphere that prevails in the classrooms during the online workshops,” says Draško Stojčević, workshop facilitator.
All activities of the “Bridges of Trust and Cooperation” project are supported by the Ministry of Education, Science, Youth, Culture and Sports of Central Bosnia Canton, and it involves the following elementary schools:
• “Berta Kučera” and “13. rujan ”in Jajce,
• “Busovača” and “Kaćuni” in Busovača,
• “Jajce” in Kruščica and “Braća Jezerčić” in Divičani,
• “Muhsin Rizvić” and “Ivan Goran Kovačić” in Fojnica and
• “Muhsin Rizvić” and “Ivan Goran Kovačić” in Fojnica and • “Prva osnovna škola” Bugojno and “Treća osnovna škola” Bugojno.
The “Bridges of Trust and Cooperation: Building Post-COVID Resilience in Children as a Tool for Security and Peace in Central Bosnia Canton Schools” is implemented with the support of Canada through the Canadian Fund for Local Initiatives.