A society that symbolizes proactive cooperation, peaceful existence of various groups and democratic values ​​for all citizens is the key message of the five-year project “Reconciliation and Transformation Conflict”. Three organizations are conducting activities in several municipalities in Kosovo – in Leposavic, North and South Mitrovica, Zubin Potok, Zvecan, Skenderaj/Srbica, Vushtrri/Vučitrn, Gjilan/Gnjilane and Peja/Peć.

The goal is to respond to the current needs for reconciliation between different ethnic groups in Kosovo, at the individual, institutional and community levels, says Milivoje Raičević from the Community Building Mitrovica (CBM) with whom we are discussing the project.

They believe that the activities will contribute to more cohesive and cooperative communities, reduce the reasons for the emergence of mistrust in reconciliation and support local social needs through the launch of socially engaged projects.

In addition, the joint commitment of citizens to social and institutional changes that affect public policies and ensure good governance and respect for human rights – explains our interlocutor.

Raičević explains that there are several specific goals they want to achieve through the project they are implementing in cooperation with the New Social Initiative (NSI) and the Youth Initiative for Human Rights Kosovo (YIHR KS).

“Better understanding of each other through the concept of the so-called storytelling; impact on improving policy reconciliation conditions; work on innovations that address societal challenges, while local economy stakeholders will benefit from promoting public-private partnerships; promoting common values ​​by different communities; the existence of a high-quality policy and research and analysis program that can benefit the Government, development organizations and donors,” says Raičević.

One of the last activities carried out within the project is the organization of the week of activism “Save the Planet”, when 84 trees were planted, 12 trees in each municipality in the Mitrovica region. The activity was conducted by a small group of citizens from different communities.

This was preceded by other activities.

“Establishment of the Cohesion Circle, ie an informal group of citizens from seven municipalities in the Mitrovica region who come from different professional and ethnic groups, and with whom we will work on contributing to the organization of joint actions concerning the needs of the community.” A feasibility study has been developed as a first step towards establishing a Think Tank,” Raičević replies.

He adds that communication was initiated with the media, in order to engage them in activities related to the development and exchange of positive stories about reconciliation, as well as with the private sector for the upcoming activities related to socio-economic improvement.

The key message of the project is that reconciliation is possible and that the involvement of all social actors is needed.

And certainly the reconciliation promoted by the project is not possible without building trust.

How does our interlocutor see the trust, in the light of the project?

“Trust means creating a safe space for open discussion of social needs, joint planning and concrete actions to improve everyday life,” says Raičević.

The Reconciliation and Conflict Transformation project is supported by American People through USAID in Kosovo.

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