Twenty years after Europe’s deadliest conflict since World War II, Bosnia continues to suffer from ethnic division which threatens the next generation growing up in the aftermath of hostilities. Founded in 2004, Centar za Izgradnju Mira have worked with thousands of young people to combat ethnic tensions and mistrust. Founded by two Muslim men who survived war camps and displacement, it is based in Sanski Most, a town on the faultline left by war, on the troubled border between Bosnia-Herzegovenia and the Serb-dominated Republic of Srpska. This is a region tragically scarred by war crimes and past atrocities.
Centar za Izgradnju Mira bring together young people from hostile ethnic groups and religious faiths, to build understanding and tolerance. They host peace camps, provide non-violence education in primary schools and run an inter-faith choir. For the first time since the war, they encouraged a peaceful dialogue between the main imam of Sanski Most and two local Christian priests: as a result, local mosques delivered aid to churches during recent floods.
225 local peacebuilders from 53 countries entered this year’s competition to find Tomorrow’s Peacebuilders – from Argentina to Zambia, Zimbabwe to Azerbaijan. Out of hundreds of entries, the jury of peace direct has selected the groups which best represent the strength of locally-led peacebuilding.
The winners offer a snapshot of what local peace organisations are doing across the globe, from resettling child soldiers in Uganda, to preventing violence in Burundi ahead of elections, to preventing tribal violence in Papua New Guinea. Common to all is a commitment for building peace in their own communities.
More about CIM in Bosnia