Location and general information
Bosnia and Herzegovina is home to a large number of ethnic groups. The three main groups in the country are Bosniaks, Serbs and Croats. The post-independence war in 1995 has left the country in a fragile and ethnically divided state. Furthermore, the division can also be felt in the education system, thanks to the existence of divided schools. This kind of school demonstrates the phenomenon of “two schools under one roof”. These schools, which are found in cantons and areas of Bosnia and Herzegovina where the ethnic composition is mixed, are segregated on the basis of ethnicity. This situation is amplified by the fact that the education professionals generally tolerate this way of thinking. Children are thus prevented from participating in joint activities with pupils from different ethnic groups. Some teachers even feel that separate schools should exist for the different ethnic groups. As a result, research conducted by the Open Society Fund Bosnia and Herzegovina has shown that the education system in Bosnia and Herzegovina does not prepare young people for life in a multi-cultural society. This could in turn lead to other problems, such as intolerance and a lack of understanding towards people of different cultures or ethnic groups.
The Genesis Project organisation has been working with these schools and has implemented various joint activities. By working with teachers, students and parents, the Genesis Project hopes to break down barriers to mutual comprehension, overcome ethnic separation between the ethnic groups present in these schools and create the building blocks for peaceful coexistence.
The supported by the UEFA Foundation for Children, will target eight ethnically divided schools in the Central Bosnia canton. Over the course of the three-year implementation period the Genesis Project will conduct numerous joint activities in 24 primary schools.
- 113 workshops per year for children
- 112 workshops per year for parents
- 48 workshops per year for teachers
- 30 educational puppet shows per year for younger children
- 30 educational theatre shows per year for older children
- Football for Peace Academy
As football is the most popular sport in Bosnia and Herzegovina, the Genesis Projects wants to use its power to engage children’s minds and harness their passion, providing an alternative to the influence of conflict and ethnic segregation. The Football for Peace Academy will be used as a means for decreasing the threat of recurring conflicts and violence within schools and as a social tool to promote peace, communication and respect for the diversity existing among the project beneficiaries.
The Genesis Football for Peaceful Communities (GFFPC) project will use football to foster trust, dialogue and tolerance in communities where these things currently do not exist. It will use the football3 methodology as a way to encourage peace and reconciliation and promote peaceful community development. With the support of international capacity-building partners, Genesis will train 72 local mediators from Bosnia and Herzegovina and 48 local schoolteachers, who will set up and lead the activities of the GFFPC project.
The project will involve:
- the selection and training of fooball3 mediators;
- the selection and training of football3 coaches;
- the donation of necessary equipment and signature of the memorandums of understanding with school management to enable them to provide extracurricular football activities;
- the selection and training of the football3 players, chosen based on respect rather than sporting ability, with a view to forming local football teams;
- the organisation of football matches.
- Delivery of three football3 and Football for Social Development training sessions to 24 young people who will become football3 mediators, making 72 football3 mediators in total
- Delivery of Football for Social Development and football coach training sessions to 48 community and school coaches, giving each coach the potential to directly train up to 50 children
- Delivery of two weekly football sessions at the coaches’ schools, making a total of 72 sessions per school over the 36 weeks of the academic year
- Organisation of 120 football matches (five per primary school)