In cooperation with and support by the Swiss organization called St. Katarina Werk, our NGO started an educational program called Peace Camp in 2004. These weeklong retreats bring together individuals from different ethnic backgrounds to meet and discuss taboo topics related to conflict in BiH. Participants have the rare opportunity to discuss the history of war and ethnically based prejudice in Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH), while learning skills in nonviolent conflict resolution. Building trust is the foundation of the peace camp experience, and administrators trained in nonviolent communication act as facilitators and guides. These camps have been extremely helpful in the past, but true progress requires sustained effort on behalf of the participants.
We developed a three year training program, encouraging participants to attend two peace camps, after which we provide organizational support for participants as they implement trainings in nonviolent communication and conflict resolution and facilitate dialogue for primary school children in their own communities.
In the past 5 years participants have included: Serbs, Croats, Jews and Bosniaks. Participants also came from BiH, Switzerland, Sweden, France, Romania, Germany, Palestine/Israel and the USA.
We have organized Peacecamps with people from all around BiH.
- 2004 in Bihać “HOTEL SEDRA”
- 2005 in Banja Luka in nacional park “BARDAČA”
- 2006 in Prozor Rama/Šćit
- 2007 in Bihać “HOTEL SEDRA”,
- 2008 in Bihać “HOTEL SEDRA”,
- 2009 in Bihać “HOTEL SEDRA”,
- 2010 in Bihać “HOTEL SEDRA”,
- 2011 in Bihać “HOTEL SEDRA”,
- 2012 in Bihać “HOTEL SEDRA”,
- 2013 in Bihać “HOTEL SEDRA”,
- 2014 in Bihać “HOTEL SEDRA”.
The school classes will be held in earnest from fall 2013 through fall 2016, with a new group of individuals taking part each year. Each religious leader will teach once per month for the whole year on two themes: (1) the basics and core of their faith traditions and (2) their religions and peace (e.g. examples of peacebuilding and potential/resources for peace in their traditions). At the end of Interreligious School CIM will publish an electronic manual (curriculum) online. The extensive discussion and consideration of their own and other religious traditions will bring dozens of students to a better understanding of and consequent greater respect for each other.
Since 2018 as a part of the STaR project, Center for Peacebuilding has been organizing two Peace Camps and Caravans. The first Peace Camp was held at CIM’s Peace Farm or Garden of Opportunities and the second one at the mountain Jahorina.