Center for Peacebuilding

Our way is peace

The Big Brother, Big Sister project was developed by CIM in collaboration with a foster care home for young people from the village of Vrpolje, located 15 km from Sanski Most. Youth in foster care are marginalised in society, experience problems in integrating in schools and the local community, and are often discriminated. Because of the social and economic challenges they encounter, they also often  experience psychological problems.

CIM developed the project, which was organised with the help of staff at the foster care home, and our local volunteers. Over the course of the project we involved youth from Sanski Most and youth in foster care in educational, self-care, and empowerment workshops as well as organising fun activities for them. Some of the activities included local trips, days out, winter games, and craft workshops. As part of the project, youth from from Sanski Most acted as mentors and helped boost the motivation levels of other youth. They met for up to 20 hours each month to have coffee, go out, and prepare homework together.

During a storytelling collection project in CIM, some of our former volunteers were interviewed. Two of them told as stories about this one particular project they experienced in our organisation:

‘In 2011-2012 I participated in a programme organised by CIM. It was called Big Brother, Big Sister. The project involved youth from Sanski Most, and youth who would normally be in foster care and who have a centre in a village outside of town. I had a ‘little’ brother and we met up often and talked about a lot of things. He was close to my age so we were too cool to play games, and we just went out for coffee together. I think it was one of the biggest projects I’ve done in CIM, and one that I really enjoyed.’

‘Three years ago I was involved in a project in CIM called Big Brother, Big Sister. I visited the foster care centre in Vrpolje a few times and I also hang out with the children involved in the project in Sanski Most. I tried as much as possible to help them with homework and preparing for school. With the older children we went out for coffee or lunch. We wanted to socialise and include young people from the local community who are disadvantaged and normally not very well included in society.’

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About Us

Today, the Center for Peacebuilding (CIM) stands on the former frontlines of the war, acting as a bridge between a past that few can currently discuss and a future where open dialogue can rehumanize the enemy and dispel the misinformation that acts as the seeds for hatred.

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