I) Center for Civil Courage
We are currently developing a visible educational center and small museum to preserve and promote examples of righteous individuals in Bosnia & Herzegovina for reconciliatory and civic purposes. It will also be a traceable and recognizable token of civil courage amidst the chaos of lingering mistrust, fostering the sustainability of future Bosnian society.
The Center will guarantee the continuation of GARIWO's current activities and create a unique institution suitable to address the complexity of issues BiH faces. The current activities towards educational reform in BiH, largely driven by internationals, and the country's overly-bureaucratic governmental structure necessitate the foundation of this local Center. The Center will be non-governmental in character, but it will actively collaborate with the public educational system and civil society in BiH. It will thus effectively combine a bottom-up with a top-down approach to maximize its impact on society. The Center will convey GARIWO's expertise in civil courage, operate as a public medium to articulate youngsters' collective civic concerns, and be a visible manifestation of hope and reconciliation.
Together with this Center, GARIWO will establish a Garden of the Righteous in Sarajevo to commemorate those individuals who, during the war in BiH, risked their own lives by standing up to negative authorities and acting accoring to their own values. The Garden of the Righteous will be analogous in spirit to Yad Vashem, Jerusalem's Garden that commemorates the Righteous of the Holocaust. Each tree planted is to bear the name of one righteous person, from all ethnic groups in BiH, who scorned danger and risked his or her life or the lives of family members to defend others of different ethnic groups who were unfairly persecuted. It will thus commemorate at least some of those responsible individuals who refused to succumb to the mass hysteria that allowed or even sanctioned mass criminality toward members of other ethnic groups.
GARIWO has a relationship with the Massachusetts-based school Facing History (www.facinghistory.org). This organization has over thirty years of experience in educating students and teachers on issues such as racism, prejudice, and genocide. Like GARIWO, Facing History analyzes historical events in order to stimulate the students to make essential connections between history and the moral choices they confront in their own lives. Through this contact, GARIWO will benefit from Facing History's knowledge while building the Center for Civil Courage in Sarajevo.
II) Mass Information Dissemination and Media
It is important to recognize that all ethnic groups have righteous individuals who have valuably impacted the world. To spread this message throughout society, GARIWO invokes public, critical discussions about good people who have acted honorable in an evil time. In our lectures, we address the issue of civil courage publicly and stimulate discussion locally. We distribute books on civil courage to foster enduring dialogue. We use national and local media to reach an even wider audience.
- 700 public events held
- 235 public lectures in 80 cities and towns in B&H attended by over 72.000 citizens
- Over 72,000 people attended the events
- Over 557 appearances in local, national, and international media
- Over 78,500 copies of twelve different titles about civil courage published and distributed free off charge
III) Small In-Depth Seminars
GARIWO organizes small, in-depth seminars for selected young adults (aged 15-25) to build the confidence and skills necessary to become upstanding citizens. The curriculum of this extracurricular education is designed to stimulate critical reflection, independence of mind, and resistance to dividing ideologies among the youth. Such seminars also encourage students' freedom of ex
During the summer of 2006,
- 218 students received a seminar certificate
- 6 new NGOs for youth established by members of the Club Imam petlju who attended our eight-day seminars of civil courage
- 1 Political party has been established by our students (SOS)
- Participants came from 5 countries and both entities of Bosnia & Herzegovina
- 50 students attended an advanced seminar on civil courage
- Almost 90% of students said that attending a seminar strengthened their personalities
- Alumni cited 20 civic activities and acts of civil courage in which they engaged after participating in a seminar (Please see Effects for more information)
Although the individual's independence of mind and courage are vital, righteous individuals do not always need to act alone. We are working to create a unique and visible network of active young people throughout Bosnia & Herzegovina, promote tolerance among communities, and foster a positive image for the new generation. The Imam petlju social movement is the manifestation of civil courage in the former Yugoslavia.
The movement is grown fast and in October 2008 Foundation Imam petlju Gariwo has been established as Gariwo's sister non-governmental organization.
Visit Imam petlju and join!