Project “Dialogue is what we want” in Cazin and Velika Kladusa
In 2002-2003, we ran a nine-month dialogue project to promote intra-Bosniak reconciliation with a group of people from Cazin and Velika Kladusa. We were amazed by their acceptance of the project and their willingness to heal themselves and to break the cycle of revenge and hatred in their community. We completed the first phase of the project with 25 participants. We met twice a month for nine months and had a final one-week seminar where the participants learned about conflict theories. Every time we met, we went through very challenging dialogue sessions.
In 2003-2004, we continued with the second phase of this project. 15 of the 25 original participants remained in the group. (Five participants moved to Sarajevo for school.) From September 2003 to June 2004, the 15 participants met once a month for four days. Two days were spent on training and for the other two days TOTs implemented workshops under the supervision of Vahidin Omanović. Each project participant implemented two workshops with 20 other individuals, mainly primary school children. In the middle of the activity, we had a five-day seminar which helped participants to deepen their relationships with each other and become more open about their traumatic war experiences.
During the last phase in 2004-2005, TOTs completed their education and new 12 trainers were ready to continue to teach and train others from their community in non-violent communication, a very important skill in the reconciliation process. Their practicum for the last phase was to have twice a month 2 hour workshop with primary school children for 8 months. In these workshops, new trainers worked with about 15 children each. This meant that by the end of this activity, 180 primary school children received education in non-violent communication. Omanović supervised each of them during their workshops at least once for these 8 months.