On 28th July 2020, the team of young peace activists from Skenderaj/Srbica organized an online discussion aimed at raising awareness on the issue of bullying and violence in schools.
What is bullying and which forms can it take? Which are the main causes and consequences of this phenomena? Who is responsible for addressing cases of bullying and do schools offer sufficient support in this sense? What is our role as witnesses? These were the main questions discussed by youth, with the inputs and support of Mr. Vllaznim Bimbashi, school psychologist and expert on the topic.
Bullying is a widespread form of violence implying the repeated and deliberate misuse of power in relationships, intended to cause physical, psychological or social harm, which is primarily present within school environments. The discussion highlighted that, in Kosovo, the limited awareness about this phenomenon leads to insufficient, late and often inappropriate responses. In fact, despite growing efforts in this direction, schools still lack capacities and resources to address bullying in a timely and proper way.
This reality was also demonstrated by the online survey conducted by the youth team in April-May 2020: indeed, only 24.7% of the 166 respondents (mostly between 16 and 19 years old) stated that schools are sufficiently addressing the problem.
The importance of actively protecting environment and nature was promoted through the activity organized on 29th July 2020 by the team of young peace activists from Mitrovicë/Mitrovica.
After a cleaning action in the center of the town, through a brief debate, youth discussed the urgent need to raise citizens’ awareness about the impact of human daily behaviors on natural environment and advocate for a stronger commitment by local institutions. Nature, indeed, is a shared resource we are all responsible for, regardless divisions and barriers.
To conclude the event, a new young tree was planted close to Diakonie Youth Center, as sustainable symbol of a cleaner and more peaceful world.
“The Future We Want” is a regional project implemented by forumZFD in Kosovo, Bosnia and Herzegovina and North Macedonia in partnership with local Organizations. The first phase of the project was implemented in 2019. In Skenderaj/Srbica and Mitrovicë/Mitrovica, the project is implemented in cooperation with, respectively, the public Youth Center (Qendra Rinore Publike Skenderaj) and Diakonie Youth Center.
The project aims to promote intercultural exchange to challenge stereotypes, ethnocentric narratives and division, and build a better future through youth capacity-building and local advocacy actions. Indeed, while learning together, sharing their opinions, and living common experiences, young participants overcome barriers, which are persisting in today’s Western Balkans societies.