“This project has now existed for almost thirty years. We owe this to the tireless work of our partners and the loyal support of our donors”, Brigitte Klaß said in her introductory statement to the presentation on Vacation From War. In mid-June, after many postponements, the official award ceremony of the “Sievershäuser Encouragement”, the peace prize the project had already received last year, could finally take place.
We feel very honored and move into the most intensive phase of the year reassured: In both project regions, preparations for the dialogue encounters this summer are almost complete.
The big Youth United in Peace Camp will again take place in Seget Donji in Croatia this year.
After the group of participants had been reduced last year for pandemic reasons, this experience showed us and our partners that both the broader age range of participants as well as the adapted size of the group had very positive effects on the dynamics of the encounter and the intensity and depth of the participants‘ engagement with the political issues.
Thus, our partners decided to limit the number of participants to sixty in 2022 as well. However, instead of eight days last year, this summer the encounter will last ten days. Alma Dzinic-Trutovic, regional coordinator of the project in the successor states of the former Yugoslavia, gives insights into the team’s preparatory meeting in May (p.4).
The preparation phase of the dialogue seminar for young women* from Israel and Palestine is particularly challenging this year. Especially the tense political atmosphere brings new adversities that our partners have to deal with (p.3).
Our second partner organization in Palestine and Israel, Seekers* (name changed), likewise describes the tense political situation. In spite of it – or perhaps because of it – they are moving decisively into the final phase of their evaluation and planning process for new dialogue programs to start this fall (p.2).
We support our partners in their important and courageous work and look forward to the dialogue encounters this summer.