Last week 60 youth participants from Kosovo, Serbia and Bosnia and Hercegovina have attended the first activity of the Regional Youth Partnership Program – ‘’The Regional Peacebuilding Academy’’.
The participants spent five days together in Podgorica for the Regional Peacebuilding Academy, where various topics were covered to better understand the contexts of the three countries. The history of the Western Balkan region, conflicts in the region, foreign influences, the impact of memories of the past, narratives about various events, extremism in the region, identities in the region, human security and securitization, and other topics were discussed. Icebreaker sessions were an important part of the Academy, as they helped participants develop tolerance and cooperation.
Throughout the week, participants were required to work in groups, present their work, participate in panel discussions, movie sessions, and other activities. The discussions with the participants revealed that it is critical to provide safe spaces for the region's youth to meet, express their own opinions, and try to understand each other's realities. They have asked for more constructive debates and meetings with the groups in the future in order to establish efforts toward reconciliation.
The next activity of the Regional Youth Partnership will be In-country meetings in 2023.
This project is supported by USAID and implemented by Kosovar Centre for Security Studies (KCSS), Belgrade Centre for Security Policy (BCSP), Faculty of Social Sciences at the University of Sarajevo, Divac Foundation, Peer Education Network (PEN), PRONI, and International Republican Institute Global (branches in Kosovo, Bosnia and Hercegovina and Serbia).