The Western Balkans for many years has been a region of conflict and war. Wars based on religion, ethnicity and acquiring independence have caused the loss of many lives, destruction of many cities and have left behind separated communities.
The traumatizing from the war and the scares that it carved in many people’s lives, make the post-war reconciliation process look unreachable. But holding on to past anger has never brought any good. Our society still has not overcome the consequences of the past, as there are young people being raised on prejudice and hate. The young generations should represent hope and change. They should be educated for peace and not grown up in a violence struck environment. As the young people of this region often we find ourselves captured in the wrong mentality we have inherited from the previous generations of our society.
In many situations we are used to letting ourselves make decisions based on prejudice against the others. It is very sad to know that we are being raised in a culture of violence, meaning we are growing up in an environment that regards confrontation as the ultimate solution of conflicts, instead of being taught how to work things out through cooperation and mutual understanding. Today many of us consider heroic the act of being able to damage someone Ana ten Idea AT Dealing molten Dye suppressing ten opponent. Instead in a peaceful environment it would be emphasized that the best solution moms through negotiation.
Sometimes you believe in something that is actually wrong and you and up fighting to protect something wrong Just because you lacked information. Everything in life can be seen from many points of view and only after having taken all of them in consideration you can allow yourself to proclaim whether it is right or wrong. The human nature tends to be self-centered but the society needs us to be humane. However, the phenomenon off violent environment is not occurring only within the Western Balkan society. It is actually a phenomenon that even the most developed countries of the world face today.
The only difference is that to us it is essential to do something about it. The future of our country depends on the young generation, they are our only hope of moving forward. If we wish to undertake political reforms that require us to move on and let bygones be bygones, we should not have our youth holding on to them. It is essential to educate young people who will be willing to contribute for a better future, a generation opposing the mentality of “it is not my business” or “l cannot do anything about it” . Yes it is our equines to make thing happen through mutual initiative and yes we can do anything if we want to.
At this point, the implementing of the idea of youth activism becomes a key factor. We cannot expect that international help will solve our problems and international institutions will be there to guide us through every step. We should take these steps ourselves in order to achieve our goals. The young people of our region do not often engage themselves in youth activism. They do not always recognize its importance and in many cases they regard it as useless, when actually it is monumental. Another problem is that youth activism is equaled to young people protesting or manifesting on certain issues that arise.
These are Just the radical steps that activists take. The core of youth activism is cooperation and collaboration. It starts within our community and then spreads and includes larger circles related to the issues. In order to understand this phenomenon more in depth and then move on to the peace work and youth activism as solutions, it is necessary to analyze what violence and peace stand for in their many forms, as well as looking into the process f transforming a violent society into a peaceful one through social mearns.
To distinguish between types of violence, Gallant establishes the concepts of direct, structural and cultural violence: Direct violence is intended to insult the basic needs of others (including nature), structural violence with such insults built into social and world structures as exploitation and repression, and cultural violence, aspects of culture (such as religion and language) legitimizing direct and structural violence. What best explains the culture of violence mongo our region is structural violence.
Also known as indirect violence, structural violence is embedded in the social, political, and economic structures that make up society. Since such indirect violence is deeply rooted in pervasive societal forces, its effects are as diverse as racism, sexism, poverty, hunger, violation of human rights, and militarism. As indirect violence, structural violence is perhaps especially pernicious because it is often camouflaged and accepted as the norm. This culture of violence is built based on what is called the Dynamics of Violence.
Starting with the action that violence breeds violence, the reproduction of violence manifests itself in society. Therefore as a result of structural violence, sometimes young people can make poor choices or practice behaviors that further embed them in the structural violence that surrounds them. PEACE – CULTURE OF PEACE There are two definitions of peace: negative peace and positive peace. Negative peace, as a concept, focuses on reducing/ending war and all physical violence.
Education for negative peace develops a citizenry that is well informed to take action for the achievement of peace through eradicating direct violence and working for sacrament. In addressing the need for Justice, equity, democracy, and an end to structural violence, positive peace takes concern beyond the end of war and physical violence. One way to conceptualize the terms negative peace and positive peace is by considering a drinking glass. In society today, the glass is full of violence and war.
Removing these forms of violence empties the glass, creating a negative amount of violence, therefore it is termed negative peace, meaning something has been taken away. Now, when that glass is refilled with Justice and equality and other values, levels, and practices that counteract structural violence, a state of positive peace is reached. In other words, we have refilled the glass with true peace. Ppositive peace requires global Justice since “changes in global society and economic systems are seen as the necessary preconditions for authentic world peace. Creating a culture of peace requires the achievement of both negative and positive peace. If we regard negative peace as absence of direct violence and positive peace as absence of structural and cultural violence then what it takes for us to form this culture of peace mongo our societies is self and community education for peace. PEACE EDUCATION Education for peace consists of three core values; Humane Relationship, Global Citizenship, and Planetary Stewardship. Humane Relationship is about creating Triangle local communities among our society It Is auto ten relationship we Tort as individuals.
They have to be based on humane feelings, meaning that bad feelings or emotions should not be the case for us to be separated. Instead of prejudice, anger or hate, we should develop towards each other kind emotions, mutual respect and understanding and most importantly community gathering. On the other hand Global Citizenship is based on how we envision the world and our future. It relies on a larger scale that starts as a individual initiative but develops between communities and societies. Therefore, it is essential for us to be able to envision a world and a future which is bright.
We need to be able to look beyond the actual limitations that we are facing today in terms of respecting our human rights and how democracy within our countries actually works. We need to be able to envision that better future in the right way, leaving behind the misconceptions we may have inherited from the society. On another level, global citizenship allows individuals or communities to interact with each other and exchange experience and knowledge, as well as build and/or strengthen their connections. Next, Planetary Stewardship is based upon the ecological conception that we are all caretakers of the Earth.
Caretakers Joins us through our mutual goals makes us more conscious that by sharing the environment we live in, us the human kind need to come together rather than separate. Peace work and youth activism addresses issues of both structural and direct lenience and finds ways to support humane relationship, global citizenship, and planetary stewardship, youth activism is peace-building. Youth activists are part of a global peace movement working toward transforming our culture of war into a culture of peace.
Youth can demonstrate that they are valuable members of global civil society and a necessary component of a functioning democracy, especially in the Western Balkans society. Education has long been viewed as a mearns for personal change and social transformation. By incorporating aspects of peace educationвЂ? intent, method- logy, core valuesвЂ?educators can facilitate these transformations. Young people recognize the urgency for peace and are interested in working toward it. They are the hope for the future and society needs to give them all the support we can muster.
Youth activists represent an alternative view: they choose to become peace builders and agents for social change. For them, finding their own path is key. Through non-formal education settings such as youth organizations, they become aware of the structural and direct violence that surrounds them and are also given the oopportunity to take action. By evaluating our situation in the Western Balkans, it is obvious that peace work and youth activism are one of the best ways to achieve our mutual goal that concerns building a peaceful environment by integrating our society into it.
There are some International organizations operating in the Western Balkans that try to cooperate with the youth, but what is actually needed is youth initiative and determination. CASE – BOSNIA AND HERRINGBONE Bosnia and Herringbone is one of the countries of the Western Balkans that best portrays the situation and how necessary it is to grow new generations in peace in order to attain a united community for the future. In Bosnia and Herringbone the phenomenon AT community separation Dates on ethnicity Is still present. Furthermore this division has become a part of the everyday lifestyle.
From living in different parts of the country or of the city, to attending different schools and keeping up with different curricula, the young generation of Bosnia and Herringbone is being raised in an environment that contradicts the template aim of post-conflict reconciliation. As a student in the United World College in Master, I witness this happening everyday. By living there I have become a part of the community and I am very close to their reality. Master is a city in the Herringbone region where the two main ethnicities are Croak and Bosnian.
My college is situated in the building of the city gymnasium and the fact is that both ethnicities attend this gymnasium but at different times. These “two schools under one roof”2 operate as two different institutions sharing the same building but their interaction with each other is almost inexistent. Can this be called reconciliation? What is more is that Gymnasium is not the only case. There are currently 57 schools, which operate in this way such as schools in Proper, Chaplain, Master, Gorgon Baku, Stools etc.
Having this in mind, how do you expect communities to reconcile with each other, when their descendants are growing up separated and are taught through different methods. There is something that can be done about this phenomenon. International Organizations present in Bosnia and Herringbone have already offered their help in relation to this issue. There can be mentioned organizations such as: Youth Resource Centre (YR) Tactual, Association KULAK, Centre for Education Travail (GET)6. The above organizations have managed to raise awareness over the importance of youth activism but there is much more left to do.