BOSNIA AND HERZEGOVINA/MONTENEGRO/NORTH MACEDONIA – Within the third RYCO Open Call for Project Proposals, supported by the Federal Republic of Germany, the Municipal Secondary School “Aco Ruskovski” Berovo from North Macedonia in partnership with JU Skola za srednje i vise strucno obrazovanje “Sergije Stanic” Podgorica from Montenegro, JU Prva gimnazija Sarajevo from Bosnia and Herzegovina and Municipal Secondary School “ Gostivar”- Gostivar from North Macedonia, implemented the project “Peace Begins with a Smile” which took place from January 2020 to March 2021.
The project brought together young people from Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro and North Macedonia in open and safe spaces where they discussed and learned about hate speech and discriminitation.
“It was an honor and a great experience to be part of this project. The topics covered problems youth face every day. I think I speak for all the participants that these were some of the best weekends in our lives and we certainly did not want them and the workshops to end. I am also very happy to tell you that we are still in contact with the peers from Gostivar, Sarajevo and Podgorica” one of the participants in the project, Evgenija, said.
During the project activities, young people learned about awareness raising, tolerance and mutual understanding. They also discussed the importance of intercultural dialogue and of respecting diversity in their communities.
“I was delighted to see the young participants in the project, who had an amazing energy and made a great work environment, by having rich discussions on the topics. The friendship continues, and we all share one wish: the goal from this project, eliminating hate speech, to continue with future activities within our schools and even outside them,” Project Coordinator Ms Biljana Boskova, stated.
Youth in the project developed new skills and knowledge and connected with one another by fostering regional cooperation and intercultural dialogue.
“These workshops are only the beginning of the project. With our actions and future planned activities we are going to continue to spread our knowledge with others and pave the roads with smiles,” Evgenija concluded.