The Rhythm of Peace

In 2015, Bosnia and Herzegovina marked 20 years since the end of war which took more than 150,000 lives. As one of the consequence of war, Bosnian youth, especially those in rural areas, often live in communities where only one nationality and one religion is present, causing them to be disconnected from their peers from different nationalities and religions.

With an aim to promote peace in Bosnia and Herzegovina by creating inclusive and democratic communities through the personal transformation of youth, World Vision designed the "Rhythm of Peace" project. Total of 71 boys and girls between the ages of 14 and 19 from various municipalities of Bosnia and Herzegovina: Olovo, Sokolac, Gorazde, Novo Gorazde, Livno, Bosansko Grahovo and Mostar took part in this project. They engaged and learned from one another, regardless of what ethnic, cultural or religious heritage they represented.

"I believe this is a good start so that we all jointly create our future," said 17-year-old Jelena, one of the participants. "I really enjoy when we do not look at ethnic differences. I met many people and this was a new experience for me," she added.

The project was implemented in three phases with very clear goals: 1) researching the level of interaction between diffent ethnic groups; 2) strenghtening the capacities of youth for interethnic dialogue and 3) breaking down the prejudices and stereotypes through joint workshops, enabling youth to understand the importance of coexistence and celebrating differences by creating new social discourse that promotes dialogue and open and honest communication between and inside communities.

"I thought nothing would change in my life after this project," said 15-year-old Mija. "But, it did. We understood that all people from different ethnic groups have the same problems and needs. We understood that we all are the same and that we need to work on non-violent communication in Bosnia and Herzegovina."

This project is implemented with the generous support of the American people through the Embassy of United States of America in Bosnia and Herzegovina. All views, opinions and conclusions expressed here do not necessarily represent the views of the American Embassy or Government of USA, but exclusively of the author.

For more information on the project, please watch this short video.