The ” barrel gunpowder ” designation is increasingly marking the Balkans, the former hot peninsula, due to conflicts and wars. The phrase that was attached to the geographic territory ” mischief ” of nearly 550 thousand square kilometers has almost disappeared from the political discourse, literary or media discourse. The atmosphere of peace among the nations of this region, combining ethnicity, religion and different cultures, has left the old virtues under a strong armor. Today we have an atmosphere of peace and interaction, even though we
disagree with everything.

Looking to the future and the common aspirations to become part of the European Union seem like the right effort to give this peace the quality of a sustainable co-operation and harmonized interaction. Inclusion of youth in this process would be the strongest foundation for building sustainable bridges of cooperation and harmony among peoples of different ethnicities, religions and cultures in the region.

In the eyes of the future, young people should put their signature on the transformation of this conflict region into the coperation region and understanding. In this framework, “Beyond Barriers” organization will develop an awareness campaign on the topic of “Establishing peace and reconciliation in the region “, within the 4 year project “ Divided Past – Joint Future”, which is in its second year of implementation.

Having in focus the young people, in cooperation with civil society and government institutions, the organization will organize a series of activities, meetings, youth exchanges, summer camps, in order to break the prejudices and stereotypes that may exist. This campaign will also be supported through social networks, through awareness-raising videos of local youth and other countries, aiming to raise awareness of the population on interfaith
and interethnic coexistence, reconciliation and peace building.

by Eglantina Nikollaj

This text was written as a part of Divided Past – Joint Future project and it does not represent nor reflects attitudes and viewpoints of the European Union, its institutions and bodies. Responsibility for the information and views expressed in the text lies entirely with the author

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