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Peace and Reconciliation

Prizren.JPGIn his swimsuit pocket, Feti thought, the money his parents had given him for the trip to Montegnegro would be safe. But after splashing and romping in the water, the money was gone. The 12-year old was devastated and thought the fun in the AMICA vacation camp would be over. But then the other children pooled their funds together: Young Albanians, Romanies and Serbians gave Feti from their pocket money so he could continue a cheerful and carefree holiday at the sea.

This is an extraordinary and amazing experience. Even more so since Feti and the other children grow up in Rahovec in Kosovo. Not long ago the small town was divided by barbed wire and had to be guarded by armend soldiers to avoid tension between the different ethnic groups.

For young people in Kosovo and Bosnia and Herzegovina the war did not just happen somewhere else. It took place right in front of their doorstep, in their streets and in their schools. After the refugees and displaced families returned, their children would meet again in places that had been scenes of war crimes. Schools in the valley of the river Drina, for example, were used as detention centres and places of execution. The children go to class in the very same place where maybe their father, their uncle or their brother died. The parents and teachers, suffering from trauma and the agony of war, are hardly able to support them.

With programs such as the youth camps in Montenegro and mobile social work AMICA creates relief, offers new perspectives and brings forward tolerance and cooperation. Under the supervision of experienced educational staff, children speak about their wishes and future plans, talk about their hopes and fears discuss the value systems of their particular society. In workshops they playfully deal with issues such as human rights, peace and reconciliation.

But first and foremost they get to know "the others“ and form friendships across ethnic boundaries - just like Feti and the other children at the sea.

Read more about our next topic: Chances and Participation

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