We have been very successful in the past working with international delegations who come to learn about the roots of conflict in the Balkans, the break up of Yugoslavia in the 1990s and the current challenges in promoting justice, human rights and post conflict reconstruction and reconciliation. Members of these delegations are from all over the world and are generally connected to universities in the United States. During these international delegations, foreign participants and local youth engage in intercultural exchange and strengthen relationships between the international and local community. All participants – both internationals and local youth – have expressed the value of such delegations, and CIM hopes to continue to foster these international connections in order to build a mutually supportive network of peacebuilders operating across national boundaries.
In addition to hosting various independent learning delegations, we have several years of experience cooperating with two established international exchange programs.
For 9 years we have hosted Global Youth Connect (GYC) delegations. GYC is a human rights training program that been in operation since 1999 as a fully incorporated 501(c)3 non-profit. GYC implements learning programs throughout the world in order to encourage participants to work actively to transform the world around them in order to prevent human rights abuses and crimes against humanity. The Bosnia GYC program takes place every year for three weeks during the summer. In addition to a week in Sanski Most, participants spend time in Sarajevo, Banja Luka and Srebrenica, engaging key NGOs, Civil Society actors and political leaders.
In the past we hosted School for International Training (SIT) Study Abroad groups. The SIT Balkans program brings together students studying in United States universities and gives them the opportunity to examine collective memory, reconciliation, identity, human rights activism and other topics relevant to peacebuilding in the Balkans. Each semester, in addition to visiting various organization in Serbia, Kosovo and Croatia, the group spent time in Sanski Most to learn about CIM’s peacebuilding initiatives.
In recent years we have become a local coordinating organization on student and youth delegations from Yale University and Keene State University in the United States. As CIM grows, we look forward to hosting more future peacebuilders interested in seeing conflict transformation “on the ground” and building their own conflict resolution skills.