Workshops on “Peaceful Conflict Resolution: Children learn to accept and value difference and diversity”

Workshops intended for children tackling Peaceful Conflict Resolution will be organised as a part of the third phase of “Social Protection and Inclusion (SPIS)” Program, in ten municipalities in BiH and Brčko District. Workshops were held in the Elementary School Milos Dujić in Čelinac and school children had opportunity to learn about peaceful conflict resolution, stereotypes and prejudice as well as communication skills from Genesis Project lecturers. 

“Children learn to accept and value  difference and diversity, to resolve conflicts in the proper way and to react in the best possible way so as to avoid conflicts and peer violence”, says Saša Sarić from Genesis Project. Children in the age group from 12 to 15 participate in these workshops and they are selected based on the consultations with school directors, teachers, and pedagogues and as explained by Saric, children with leadership abilities are selected so as to convey and transfer knowledge to their friends from school.

While we talk to Sasa, other children at the table Anes, Svetozar, Damjan, Stefan, Barbara, Ivana, Sara, Tina, Nikolina and the second boy called Stefan are working in the group on the Listening Test comprised of 15 questions with the last trick question, which is then discussed with the other lecturer Goran Radić.  After that, they played the game where children are supposed to read news articles, each of them must retell it, and during the process some facts are lost and children have opportunity to witness the process of creation of rumours and allegations.

“We like this method of work and we would prefer to continue working in this way. We learn how to avoid conflicts, how the conflict occurs and why”, says Tina adding that she minds the most when something bad happens in school, children calling for parents for help are being pronounced and called “traitors”.

Here we learn that if we call adults for help when something bad happens, we are not the traitors. When we cannot resolve an issue by ourselves, it is far better to call parents for help”, emphasizes Tina and her friends, Sara, Stefan and others are adding that they would gladly relate this knowledge to their peers. In the meantime, Goran is passing to the second task where children are to write and explain why the playground is important for them, why they like school, what would they change in their town.

“The last topic is debatable,” adds someone from the group provoking the laughter and we leave them in peace to continue working on the selected topics and discussions.

Strengthening Social Protection and Inclusion of Children in BiH Program is jointly supported by EU and UNICEF. European Union has been financing this program worth EUR 4.1 million since 2008 from the Instruments for Pre-Accession Assistance (IPA ). The aim of the project is to help strengthening and building of the system which will ensure adequate social welfare policy and inclusion for children and their families. Implementation of the SPIS program in the 3rd phase (2011-2012) shall be done in the following municipalities:  Čelinac, Derventa, Gacko, GornjiVakuf/Uskoplje, Kupres, MrkonjićGrad, Posušje, Prnjavor, Tešanj, Velika Kladuša and Brčko District.