TWENTY young people from across the Borough will head to Bosnia-Herzegovina at the end of October to learn about the Srebrenica Genocide.
Through the Conflict Transformation and Srebrenica programme, funded by the EU Peace IV Programme and managed by the Special EU Programmes Body (SEUPB), 20 of 40 young leaders will visit Bosnia-Herzegovina to see and hear first-hand the causes, impact and lessons of the Balkan conflict, siege of Sarajevo and Srebrenica Genocide.
The programme and visit will also explore aspects of peace building power-sharing, politics in an area with significant identity and ethnic challenges, shared education and victim’s issues.
In preparation for their visit, a workshop was held at LEDCOM in Larne.
Mayor Maureen Morrow, who attended the workshop, said: “I am so impressed at the knowledge and energy of our young leaders and I want to thank them for participating in such an exciting and challenging programme. I also want to acknowledge their commitment to put their learning to use for the betterment of their local community.
“In Northern Ireland we are only too aware of the consequence of prejudice and intolerance. These young leaders will learn about what hatred can do in a different context and country, which can only broaden their mind and bring about new perspectives that will benefit Mid & East Antrim and Northern Ireland as they increasingly contribute to civic life. ”
Director of Remembering Srebrenica UK, Amil Khan, said: “Northern Ireland and Bosnia have many things in common, not just that they are both regions coming out of conflict but they have warm and friendly people who are proud of their home. They also know how fragile peace can be.
“Managing diversity in a changing world are as critical in Bosnia and Srebrenica as they are in Northern Ireland, Ballymena, Larne or Carrickfergus.”
The programme will recruit a further 20 young leaders from Mid & East Antrim in spring 2020. The programme will culminate with a commemoration event in July 2020 marking the 25th anniversary of the Srebrenica genocide.
Match-funding for the programme has been provided by the Executive Office in Northern Ireland and the Department of Rural and Community Development in Ireland.