F-R-E-E is an international nonprofit organisation working on peace and community building projects in the Balkans. F-R-E-E's work began when its directors, Jacquie and Tobias Greiff, travelled to Bosnia on a research trip in the fall of 2008. They visited the Dom i Porodica orphanage in Zenica, one of the country's largest, state-run orphanages, and began to learn about the needs of certain populations such as this, constantly on the fringes of society. F-R-E-E's team returned that summer to offer a theatre workshop for several of the children residing at the orphanage; the first in a series of friendship and community building camps for young children. Over the years, as their knowledge of the region, its people, and its needs, has grown, the projects have expanded to include new populations, new tools (including sports, music, and arts), and new team members. Although their work is expanding to other regions of Bosnia, and though they have many growing projects, they still return each summer to offer workshops at the Dom i Porodica orphanage.
All the World's a Stage
"All the World’s a Stage" was the first project that F-R-E-E directors Jacquie and Tobias Greiff carried out in summer 2009. Based at the Dom i Porodica orphanage in Zenica, Bosnia-Herzegovina, it was comprised of a multi-week theatre program for children aged 3-7. Without a common language at the time, the workshop used Commedia dell’Arte, an Italian style of theatre based on physical comedy and easily learnable and repeatable scenes. Over several weeks, F-R-E-E ran daily workshops, with the goal of encouraging creativity, enjoyment, and new levels of thinking and imaging for the children involved.
A Next Generation of Problem Solvers: Empowering Responsible Leadership
With the understanding that sustainable solutions to today’s problems should be created from the bottom-up, and involve many stakeholders, f-r-e-e has designed a program that aims to engage college-aged youth throughout Bosnia in a process of civic empowerment and community problem-solving. The programme will enable its participants to present the results to an international audience, thus raising awareness of the issues facing Bosnia today, their proposed solutions (and the success or failure of these), and the potential of the youth generation as problem-solvers and leaders of tomorrow.