Genesis Project

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Genesis Project promotes peace and coexistence in mainly rural areas of Republika Srpska / Bosnia and Herzegovina

The Genesis Project is a local, non-governmental, non-profit humanitarian organization, set up in Banja Luka, in February 1997, with the main goals to educate children and adults about the tolerance and coexistence, children and human rights, child safety, violence prevention, peacebuilding, conflict prevention and resolution, gender equality and bullying prevention (lately, our emphasis is put on prevention of cyber-bullying).

In November 2018, after a highly competitive process, the Genesis Project has been shortlisted for the 2019 Global Pluralism Award, a program that aims to recognise the remarkable and sustained achievements of individuals, businesses, organisations, and governments who are tackling the challenge of living peacefully and productively with diversity. This biennial Award is a signature program of the Global Centre for Pluralism (“the Centre”). The Centre is an independent, not-for-profit organisation founded by His Highness the Aga Khan in partnership with the Government of Canada that serves as a global platform for comparative analysis, education and dialogue about the choices and actions that advance and sustain pluralism. Unfortunately, we have not been among the award finalists but it was a great honor and recognition for us to be shortlisted for this award. 

End of April 2016, the Genesis Project was in the final selection round for another prestigious international award given by the Qatar Foundation – WISE Award (World Innovation Summit of Education). Please, see the info about this nomination at the following links: http://www.wise-qatar.org/2016-wise-awards-finalists-revealed and https://www.wise-qatar.org/puppets-empowerment-bosnia-herzegovina.

In December 2015, the Genesis Project was awarded the prestigious international award for peace activism "Tomorrow's Peacebuilders", which is given by the international organisation Peace Direct at the global level, in a ceremony held in London. Please, see the following link: https://www.peacedirect.org/tomorrows-peacebuilders-2015-winners/.

Since 2009, Genesis Project has been implementing projects in divided primary schools (primarily located in Central Bosnia Canton). BiH is characterized by the phenomenon of divided schools, most visibly symbolized by the “two-schools under one roof”. Those schools are segregated on the basis of ethnicity in cantons and areas of BiH where the population is mixed. This unique form of "apartheid", as it is often called, emerges from distrust and fear fuelled by irresponsible nationalist politics. ”Two schools under one roof” is the most explicit form of division within an education system that is itself characterized by division and decentralization on administrative and political grounds. Cultural and ethnic isolation is built into the educational system. This stands in sharp contrast to existing human rights treaties which have been signed and ratified by BiH, in particular the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC). In divided schools, we are implementing activities in ethnically mixed groups of children / adults, trying to decrease the level of prejudices and stereotypes and to rebuild trust and confidence among major ethnic groups, Bosniak and Croats.  Activities which we are implementing in divided schools in Middle Bosnia canton are funded by private German foundations such as Robert Bosch Stiftung and Stiftung Schüler Helfen Leben, Berlin, Germany.

Since our establishment (Feb. 1997) we have conducted over one hundred projects which covered all of our goals, even further, and educated approximately 100,000 children and 1,000 teachers. We state with confidence that we have made significant changes throughout Bosnia and Herzegovina concerning teaching children about the dangers of landmines as well as their rights as children and health topics such as disease prevention. Other goals of Genesis Project included teaching the communities about the freedom of speech, democracy, basic human rights and peaceful conflict prevention and resolution. Our projects are primarily implemented in primary schools and always in close cooperation with entity / cantonal Ministries of education, who are in charge for primary school education (children age 6 - 15).

In 2017, Genesis Project was funded by UNICEF BiH, Stiftung Schüler Helfen Leben Germany, Stiftung Robert Bosch, Stichting Kinderpostzegels Nederland,  US Embassy in BiH, Canada fund for the local initiatives, etc.

Mission

Genesis Project is a Non-Governmental Organization which, through its professionals and dedicated individuals, helps children and adolescents throughout Bosnia and Herzegovina in fulfilling their rights to have free and correct psychophysical development regardless of their religious, ethnic and racial belonging whilst respecting their individual differences and potentials.

Vision

Bosnia and Herzegovina is a free and open society which will enable every individual to develop and assert to the fullest capacity and to achieve as a happy, conscious and free person capable of thinking critically and to act creatively.


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