While much physical rebuilding has occurred since war struck BiH from 1992-1995, much work needs to be done to repair social relationships that were damaged by war. To address these needs CIM reaches out to local schools which are marked by high rates of physical and psychological violence. Each month, CIM conducts nonviolent communication and conflict resolution workshops in two schools in Sanski Most, Mahala and Prva Sanska. Through exercises kids develop tolerance for individuals from different backgrounds and learn how to respond to conflict in constructive, nonviolent ways. This is a pilot project at the two above-mentioned schools, something we wish to expand during the coming years.
In workshops, CIM trainers show new ways of communicating – not necessarily verbally. How can a person show affection or disagreement through body language? When it comes to verbal communication, why is it important to listen? How do you listen actively? How does it feel when you’re not listened to? The dynamic of trust is a central theme, and facilitators attempt to show how this trust can extend beyond family and ethnic groups. These trust activities teach the kids to trust each other and apply the experiences in their daily life.
Even though we have only have carried only a few workshops at each school can we already see development among the kids at the school, as they increasingly trust their classmates and learn to convey their feelings and desires in a nonviolent manner.