They were just children. Together we can build the bridges of the future

They were just children. Together we can build the bridges of the future

The Association “Forgotten children of the war” with the support of the RECOM Reconciliation Network together with a group of young women honored the children who lost their lives in the war events of 1992-1995 in a dignified manner by laying flowers and observing a minute of silence. The group laid flowers on the Memorial to the murdered children of the besieged Sarajevo and on the Memorial to the innocent children from East Sarajevo.

The “Peace Memorial Day” initiative was created through the “Symbols of the Lost Past” project, which aims to build a different culture of memory that, based on personal experience and personal stories, will convey the voice of women and children, with the aim that their lives are not forgotten, and encourage young people to learn, remember and think critically, in order to prevent forgetting the role of women in war and post-war events. Guided by the belief that building a culture of memory is one in which we as a society will honor the victims regardless of religion and nation, with the aim that such a culture of memory contributes to the development of individual and social processes of dealing with the past in building sustainable peace.

“The Association “Forgotten Children of War” continuously works to promote peace and tolerance. In order for these processes to have a long-term impact on society, and to create the conditions for sustainable reconciliation and lasting peace in the region, it is necessary that as many people of all generations as possible be involved in the processes of reconciliation and familiarization with the facts. Only a constructive and critical attitude towards the past of one’s own people, but also an appreciation of the suffering of other peoples in BiH, can contribute to the creation of a culture of memory of mutual appreciation and respect,” said Mirna Omerčaušević, program manager of the “Forgotten Children of War” Association.

“Through these programs and actions, young people can build a culture of memory in which there is space for everyone, and they accept the pain, sadness and suffering of others without feeling national betrayal. Building a culture of memory is a long-term process, on which we all need to work together.” Mirjana Trifković, an educator on the “Symbols of the Lost Past” project, pointed out.

Through the activities of the “Symbols of the Lost Past” project, the participants learned about communication, violence, understanding conflicts, identity and diversity, dealing with the past peace building. In this way of working, the participants empowered themselves to primarily understand themselves, their environment and the processes that take place in society through joint work.

“Being a part of this project is extremely important for me. First of all, I am glad that I got the opportunity to meet ten wonderful girls and to create a positive story together. During the project, we had the opportunity to learn more about war-time events in BiH, to hear the stories of women who survived the horrors of war and came out of it as heroines. I am especially proud of the final activity of our project, paying tribute to the children who lost their lives during the war in Sarajevo and East Sarajevo. We sent a clear message that young people in our country want a life of peace and love. We must not allow the past to repeat itself and we can only build bridges to the future together,” said Isidora Trivković, a participant in the “Symbols of the Lost Past” project.

“Through this project, I expanded my knowledge about peace building, transitional justice, the culture of memory, which is very important to me as a Master of Security and Peace Studies. I had the opportunity to meet great young women from different parts of Bosnia and Herzegovina, get out of my own “comfort zone” and overcome the dominant narratives in our society. By paying tribute, we show respect for the victims, sympathy and empathy with the families. At the same time, it teaches us about the past, but also how to build a society that will not allow terrible things to happen again,” said Fatima Mahmutović, a participant in the “Symbols of the Lost Past” project.

“They were just children. Together we can build the bridges of the future,” is the message that the young participants sent to the citizens of Bosnia and Herzegovina.