We started off the New Year with an exciting event!
On January 12 and 13, 2023, CSI Centrifuge had the pleasure of participating in the initial meeting of the EU-CARES project fully titled “EUropean Collective nArratives for Reconciliation trauma hEaling through youth engagement and Storytelling”. The meeting took place in Novi Sad, at the impressive OPENS building, which was built as a result of Novi Sad being named the European Youth Capital in 2019.
About the project
The EU-CARES project aims to address collective trauma and promote reconciliation among young people from war-affected countries using storytelling techniques that encourage active participation, constructive dialogue, and critical thinking. The project seeks to empower youth workers to contribute to the reconciliation process in the Western Balkans by fostering youth engagement, intercultural understanding, and solidarity through storytelling. Co-financed by the Erasmus+ KA2 Programme of the European Commission and led by OTB International, a Brussels-based organisation, the EU-CARES project is implemented by eight partners from seven countries: Sarajevo Meeting of Cultures (B&H), CESIE (Italy), IRSH (Albania), IDEA LAB (Poland), NGO PRIMA (Montenegro), Center for Social Innovations Centrifuge (Serbia) and PERPETUUM MOBILE Institute (B&H).
What we discussed in the kick-off and what we already started working on
During the meeting, project partners discussed the aims, objectives, and expected results of the project, as well as the necessary quality indicators for its successful implementation. The project partners have already started working and are currently collecting best practices and exploring the main narratives of conflicts in the Western Balkans while engaging storytelling experts who work with young people. The collection of narratives will focus on the history and contributions of national minorities to cultural heritage and society. After all, Europe’s strength lies in its balanced heterogeneity and the desire to grow together for a more inclusive, peaceful, and resilient future, and young people, especially in post-conflict societies, must play a role in peace-building as agents of change, addressing physical, structural, and cultural violence.
What is next
We are eager to commence working on the next project activities. The first one down the road will be a roundtable which will be a great way to bring youth, young adults and adults around crucial topics of EU-CARES, ensuring that participants with different backgrounds, experiences and unique perspectives have a chance to actively contribute to the discussion. Following the roundtable, we will organise a think tank which is intended to serve as a platform for debate and research to learn from, compare approaches, and share insights by bringing together diverse ways of understanding. Partners will ensure that participants with varied cultural, ethnic, religious, and educational backgrounds are selected for the discussion. In addition to young people and youth workers, the event will involve active society members, representatives of local authorities, decision makers and representatives of educational institutions.
Stay tuned for more news on the upcoming EU-CARES project activities!