Lejla Hasandedic – Dapo

Name: Lejla Hasandedic - Dapo
Organization: Youth For Peace, Bosnia and Herzegovina, URI (United Religions Initiative) Europe
Location: Bosnia and Herzegovina/Turkey

Please explain how you have implemented the Learning to Live Together Programme, including the adaptation of its conceptual framework, approach, learning process, methodologies and activities. (600 words)

I’m implementing LTLT program since 2011, when I become LTLT facilitator. Also in the last 7 years I attended 5 online courses for Advance LTLT training and in 2017 I become LTLT trainer. I implemented LTLT program with children, youth and young adults and those LTLT programs were implemented as part of activities organized by GNRC (Global Network of Religions for Children), URI (United Religions Initiative) Europe and YfP (Youth for Peace), Bosnia and Herzegovina. They were part of celebration of International Day of Peace, World Interfaith Harmony Week, Day of Action and Prayer for children and camps for children without parents and also camps for children with special needs. Also I was implementing LTLT program as a part of different international conferences, congresses and as a part of my lectures at Akdeniz University in Turkey. Because majority of the LTLT workshops and activities that I facilitated and organized were conducted in Bosnia and Herzegovina, which is post war country, focus was on peace building activities and process of reconciliation. I try to adapt program to the needs of participants taking into consideration and paying attention to their age, gender, educational, national, spiritual and religious background and differences. Beside this special attention was present when implementing program with children with special needs, because in this case program should be adapt to meet those children learning needs and abilities and providing safe learning environment for all participants. Methodology that I use include more interactive work and provide opportunities for cooperative games, youth led activities and in the end of every program and activity monitoring and evaluation of the program is very important, because it helps to evaluate program/activity, plan and organize future activities, overcome problems that maybe occurred and also to make more impact and positive changes in community.

Explain how the implemented program has been sensitive to the local context. (400 words)

Majority of the LTLT program activities were organized In Bosnia and Herzegovina, which is post war country and citizens are facing with a lot of national and religious tensions among themselves. Also as a results of war some religious extremism and terrorism group become part of Bosnia society as well. But before war B&H was multicultural country and the capital city of Sarajevo was and it is still known as European Jerusalem (because in less than 100 meters distance you can see Mosque, Catholic cathedral, Orthodox cathedral and Synagogue). So LTLT program comes in the perfect time to help restore idea of multiculturalism and foster interfaith dialogue among children and youth people. Beside this LTLT program is very important in the process of trans generational learning. So program respect needs and differences of all different religious, national, spiritual groups and also promote dialogue, mutual understanding, active listening, empathy, respecting and reconciliation. Every program and activity first starts by focusing on individuals through Module 1 (Understanding Self and others) and then we move to Module 2 (Transforming the World Together) which helps us to transform post war society through group work and to bring more positive changes for future generations. And experience shows us that LTLT program can and is playing very important role in the process of reconciliation and building bridges of trust, mutual understanding and friendships among people who were fighting among themselves as well as among their children, bringing positive changes and better future for all in B&H.

How has the implemented program fostered interfaith and/or intercultural learning among participating children and young people? (400 words)

Through the program participants learn how to live together and not just next to each other. Also because of specific context in which activities are realized focus was on active listening, empathy, mutual understanding and overcoming stereotypes and prejudices about other people. URI and YfP activities are all interfaith and promoting values of LTLT program and Ethic Education framework. Through this program many participants for the first time meet people from other/different national and religious group, they also for the first time visited sacred places of other religious groups like mosque and church and they all together celebrate holy days and months of each other. This is an amazing learning as well as very transformative experience for all participants and facilitators. And because of importance of fostering interfaith learning in every program we try to include interfaith night and visit to different spiritual and religious place as as well as some celebrations of holy days and to encourage youth and children to continue working and celebrating together after the program.

How has the Learning to Live Together Programme influenced a positive transformation in you, in a personal and professional level. (400 words)

I grow up during the war and I had a lot of stereotypes and prejudices. So program first help me to meet people from other national and religious groups and to learn how to live together. After that we started working together and I manged to overcome my stereotypes and prejudices about others to that extent that I co-found Youth for Peace with friend from different religious and national background that I meet through this program. So thanks to LTLT program I become completely another and I hope better person, more open minded and I developed my active listening skills and empathy. Also on professional level LTLT program nicely fit with my career as psychologists and psychotherapist and it helps me to make a lot of positive changes in my society-through professional and volunteer work. Beside this taking part in LTLT programs inspire and motivate me to became human right activist and peace builder and to make network with like minded people from all over the world becoming change that I want to see in the world.

Please explain how you exemplify a strong role-model of the principles of Learning to Live Together. (400 words)

LTLT program is main part of my personal and professional transformation. Also other people who I meet through this program inspire me and few of them becomes my role models, so I try to live values and principles of LTLT in my everyday life and to work on becoming better person bringing a lot of positive changes and promoting main ethical values in my community. I try to be responsible human being with empathy and open mind for all others who are different from me, respecting our differences and helping my community to go through process of reconciliation. I think that being good role model is very important nowadays because children and youth people are exposed to different role models on social media and in their everyday life that are promoting superficial values and not paying attention to things that are very important like ethical values such as being emphatic, respecting others and being responsible for all your action towards others. So through my everyday life, activities and programs that I m organizing, through work of organizations that I co-found and that I m working with and everything that I m doing I try to be best possible role model and ambassador of LTLT principles and ethic values.

Please provide further information on how you initiated, implemented and sustained the programs based on the LTLT, and how you have mobilized necessary support from stakeholders. (600 words)

After I become LTLT facilitator in 2011, I immediately start implementing program first through GNRC B&H activities and then through youth group of interfaith council in Bosnia and Herzegovina. Than in 2012 I become Youth ambassador for URI (United Religions Initiative) Europe and as part of my ambassador project I realize LTLT workshop for youth people from divided cities in Bosnia and Herzegovina and this collaboration and implementation of LTLT program in URI continue till today. Also in 2014 I co-found Youth for Peace organization in Sarajevo, B&H and this organization continue implementation and supported LTLT program activities in almost all programs for youth people and children. Those activities were realized as part of summer school, camps for children without parents, local and Intrenational workshops and conferences and activities that were organized with partner organizations. YfP get support and grants form USA Embassy in B&H, Konrad Adenauer foundation, Caritas Italiana, CRS and so on. So I try to make cooperation between different organizations and to find and apply for grants. Also after few years of promoting LTLT activities in social media and through work of different organisations it become very visible in media and local government decided to support some of the activities. I think that the key is cooperation, promoting good work in media using positive examples, inspiring stories and then good monitoring, evaluation and reports about outcome of the program, because results speaks for themselves.
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