"Developing Anti-oppressive practice in international mobility projects", training course in Bosnia and Herzegovina

Developing Anti-Oppressive Practice was a ten-day training course based in Kljuc, Bosnia and Herzegovina from the 8-17th of February. The course brought together participants from eight different countries, four from the European Union and 4 from the Western Balkan region. Over the course of the project participants explored the topic of oppression, breaking it down into what causes it and how it is maintained. Participants also reflected on what groups are oppressed in their own countries and why. Areas discussed included racism, gender equality, sexuality and disability. By the end of the course participants were aware of, the different methods on managing conflicts, understanding how to build inclusion and know how to support young people to develop empathy. 
Being based in Bosnia and Herzegovina the course also touched on the topic of the conflict and genocide that took place between 92-95. One day involved visiting YIHR, a human rights organisation that is actively campaign towards developing social inclusion. Participants learned about what happened during the conflict and how unresolved topics such as the recognising of the genocide in Prijedor mean that those effected by the tragedy struggle to grieve and come to terms with what happened. YIHR also shared the work they are doing to bring separated groups of young Serbs, Croats and Bosnians together. This course was specifically created to support organisations that are active in creating international projects under the frame of the Erasmus Plus programme. Although the topics of participation and inclusion are now common in the programme, Anti-Oppressive practice is still a relatively new concept and not well known to organisations creating such programmes. We had identified this need and hoped that this project could support the development of good practice and an understanding of what is anti-oppressive practice. 
To disseminate this practice participants and partners in the project will now work together to create a publication that addresses this topic and supports organisations to implementing this practice into their own structures. All partners are currently working on creating the publication, which we plan to launch in Serbia in October later this year. 

Sebastian Graca da Silva, trainer 

Some words from the participants
Ave Rosenberg, Estonia

First of all, I am very thankful I had a chance to participate in training course “Developing anti oppressive practice in International mobility projects” in Kljuc. 
During these ten days in Bosnia and Herzegovina I met beautiful people with different backgrounds and it helped me to understand more how similar we actually are, even if we are from different cultures. This was my first international project and I learned a lot about other countries, especially about Bosnia and Herzegovina. I felt very comfortable from the first day, because people here are very kind and sincere. Food is great and nature with its mountains, rivers and waterfalls simply gorgeous.
Training course was really inspiring and gave me a to think about. What I will bring with me to Estonia (from the course) is knowing that sometimes we just don't realize how important is to think what our values are because they seem to be so common. But after you have written them down you start carrying them more with you and realize you can actually do something to make things better or people happier. I recommend to everyone from the heart to take the courage and step out of their comfort zone and try to see what a person can do, to make things better around them. Things will start to change if you start changing yourself. You won’t be able to change the world but small thing are the ones which count. 
I want to thank to all organizers and participants for making this experience memorable. I wish you inspiration and motivation for future projects. 


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