Despite the corona situation and existing restrictions, the Srebrenica Memorial Center and the Post-Conflict Research Center Bosnia-Herzegovina managed to organize a series of activities and workshops. Members of the Youth-United in Peace (YU-Peace) network participated in their Youth Camp. Valentina Gagic, part of the team of voluntary staff of the Vacation From War Project, helped organize the activity.

(Text: Valentina Gagic) The seven-day camp for youngsters entitled “Dealing with the past to rethink the future” took place from July 8th to 12th was organized by Center for post-conflict Research from Sarajevo in association with Memorial Center Srebrenica. Because I know the organizers, they asked me to be logistical help, which I gladly accepted. During the preparation, I shared information with our YU-Peace activists and many of them expressed interest in participating. It was a great challenge and also a big responsibility. The Camp was held on the notion of the 25th anniversary of the genocide in Srebrenica and because of the pandemic the events and visits in Potočari were very restricted.

In the end there were eleven participants from the YU-Peace network, from Srebrenica, Zvornik, Tuzla and Gornji Vakuf-Uskoplje. They did a great job representing YU-Peace, both in the workshops and in the talks with media representatives. The seven days of camp were a great experience. A total of around 30 participants were there and some young people who hadn’t known YU-Peace before were very interested in our network and have been writing to me regularly since the workshop to ask when the next YU-Peace activities are due and how they can participate.

The workshop participants created, among other things, an installation entitled “Why are you not here”, which was then exhibited as a memorial to the victims of the genocide in the memorial center. For the installation I collected fildzans (note: small coffee cups that are typical of Bosnia-Herzegovina) from mothers who lost their families to the genocide. That was really emotional. I am glad that we have this kind of continuity in these difficult times. The contribution is really significant. The educational part was meaningful (…).

Hamed, member of YU-Peace and participant in the seven-day Youth camp in Srebrenica, describes his experience as follows: “The important thing is that our goal was for young people from all three ethnic groups in Bosnia-Herzegovina to hear about the work of YU-Peace (…). We told them that we meet young people from Serbia and Croatia and that we come from cities where the war has left deep marks – but even though we have a difficult past we make friendships and that we see each other on the sea, and at the camps and that we make weekend visits where we sleep in each other’s houses. (…) We got big support from the youngsters for everything that YU-Peace does, and most of them told us that we are one beautiful story and that everyone on the Balkans should know about it.