Conflict and the Potential for Pluralism – Analysing the Use and Misuse of Religion

European Project Interreligious Learning’s – In Zenica on 10 May, Small Steps’ Amra Pandžo and Julianne Funk Deckard participated the European Project Interreligious Learning’s (EPIL)  session on “Conflict and the Potential for Pluralism – Analysing the Use and Misuse of Religion”. Amra was both facilitator of the session with 40 women from Switzerland, Lebanon, Austria, the Netherlands, and Bosnia-Herzegovina, plus 12 Bosnian and Herzegovinian women peacemakers. Continue reading Conflict and the Potential for Pluralism – Analysing the Use and Misuse of Religion

Women Peacebuilders

Using the new book, Graditeljice Mira (Women Peacebuilders) about women who won the Nobel peace prize, Mali Koraci is leading workshops with teachers, NGO staff and youth in four locations in BiH. The workshops take themes from the Nobel prizewinners’ lives and teach related skills. The book is made up of chapters about each of the 15 women and concludes with eight workshops written by Amra Pandžo. Amra and Julianne Funk Deckard are implementing these workshops in April 2012 in Livno, Banja Luka, Bijelina and Tuzla. All workshops are implemented in cooperation with TPO Foundation.

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International Peace Research Association (IPRA)

Dear Amra,

Thank you, thank you, thank you to all of our supporters who gave to the IPRA Foundation throughout 2011! Your support is so valuable not only to our budget but also in its endorsement of our work.

We have kicked 2012 off with a record number of applications for the 2012-13 Senesh Fellowship. While it makes it difficult to select one individual to receive the fellowship, it’s encouraging to see such a wide field of impressive young scholars from all over the world entering the peace studies field. Continue reading International Peace Research Association (IPRA)

List of donors 2012

Dear partner, we announce new Directory of donors, which donate grants for projects in Bosnia and Herzegovina. We found a huge number of them, which are unknown in our country, although most have particular field for supporting. We hope that you will find some of them from the list below, which is able to support your projects. Small Steps wish you successful realize of your project.

Mreza za izgradnju mira, Direktorij donatora, januar 2012

Small Steps with school teachers of islamic education in Banja Luka

On 24 December 2011 Mali Koraci held its training workshop for school teachers of Islamic education in the Banja Luka Muftiluk including Prnjavor, Kotor Varoš, Ključ, Mrkonić Grad, Bosanska Gradiška, Bosanska Dubica, Bosanski Brod, and Derventa. Twenty-one teachers attended the session, including grand mufti Edhem Čamdžić.

Continue reading Small Steps with school teachers of islamic education in Banja Luka

Dan nestalih (Day of missing persons)

Julianne F. Deckard
Julianne F. Deckard

My arrival to work with Mali Koraci in July caught us in the middle of a project, funded by the ICMP, to find a universal model to commemorate the international day of missing persons (30 August). Immediately after the war’s end (mid 1990s), those who were still missing family members (their family members disappeared) formed associations to appeal to anyone who would listen (government, the international community, etc) to help them find their loved ones. The ICMP has been a major force behind the realization of this help, in its huge identification project of the remains exhumed from mass graves. The associations were, at the beginning very open to working together across ethnic lines, simply because they could be more visible and heard when they were larger. But politicians and political parties abused these associations, using them for their own national agendas – asserting victimization, etc. – such that cooperation between associations has broken down and these associations have themselves been fractured from inside along political lines. It is a sad story because of the misuse and also neglect of the actual concerns of these associations.

Continue reading Dan nestalih (Day of missing persons)

Human Rights Day 2011

Members of the Small Steps congratulate all those who promote and improve Human Rights in their communities, and today together with millions of people around the world we celebrate Human Rights Day 2011. As association for dialogue and peacebuilding in family and society, the Small Steps will continue to promote and improve the equality and the highest values of society and Human Rights as well, in order to show that in Bosnia and Herzegovina there is enough space for everyone who wants to live with respecting equality and right to other and different.

Learning from the Experts

Julianne F. DeckardPlease find the new article ‘Learning from the Experts’ by Small Steps’ volunteer staff member Julianne Funk Deckard about her work with our organization. This article was published in Bosnian language in the December 2011 Peace Newsletter (Mirovne Novosti), of the Network for Peacebuilding (Mreža za Izgradnju Mira) Julianne F. Deckard talks about her experience and new knowledge gained, during her volunteering in Small Steps.

I am one of the many foreigners to visit Bosnia-Herzegovina and get hooked. Hundreds, perhaps thousands of us have innocently visited this small and unassuming country in the last twenty years and found ourselves hopelessly drawn in. When people ask us what is it about Bosnia-Herzegovina that is so enticing, we find it very hard to provide a satisfactory answer.

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Pax Christi International

Contribution to the Spirit of Compassion

for Suffering of People in the Balkans

1.      The Central/Eastern European Regional Pax Christi Consultation took place from 27th till 29th April 2011 in Vukovar, Croatia. Vukovar is a town in Croatia which was completely destroyed by Serbian forces in war that started almost 20 years ago. In the recent past, pictures of columns of exhausted civilians coming out of destroyed Vukovar shocked the people all around the world. At the present, Vukovar has becoming a symbol for “remembering,” but this “remembering” is not simply retrospective and historical. Its wounds are not healed; the town is still divided. But there are efforts of citizens and local government toward building inter-ethnic trust, blossoming the promise of inspiration and hope. Continue reading Pax Christi International