Participating schools came from the Bosniak/Croat Federation and Republika Srpska mini-states. Tensions between the communities remain high following years of war from 1992 to 1995.
The camp was the climax of World Vision's peace education project — a yearlong peace-building effort in 12 schools in northeastern Bosnia.
World Vision education coordinator Maja Djukić said one aim of the project was to promote understanding and acceptance of cultural and ethnic diversity. Children embraced the program with enthusiasm, though initially there was some reluctance from teachers.
"It was difficult for many of them to sit and work together at the same table, yet they eventually found new friends on the other side," Djukić said.
Among them was participating teacher Muzijet Kahrimanovic from the Bosniak/Croat Federation. Kahrimanovic said at first he was shocked that his school principal selected him to be involved.
"It was really hard for me to accept the fact that I would work together with people from Republika Srpska," he said.
But later, he admitted the project had completely transformed his outlook. "It helped me to understand that real people exist in Republika Srpska — real people with pure souls. This is something I had to accept."
Altogether, 24 children attended the camp, which was held at a mountain lodge. All of them were representatives on student councils at their respective schools.
Teambuilding games included "Egg Package," where teams designed a package to prevent an egg from breaking when dropped; "Survival Scenario," where teams chose the 12 most useful items to survive following an imaginary plane crash; and "The Net," in which team members supported one another to pass through a net strung across the room.
>> Pray for reconciliation and peace in Bosnia and Herzegovina, a place marred by years of ethnic conflict. Pray that World Vision's peace-building efforts would help bring an increased understanding of and respect for cultural and ethnic diversity in communities across this Eastern European nation.
>> Donate now to World Vision's Youth Bible Curriculum program, which helps spread the word of God's love to children across Eastern Europe.
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