Preventing bullying: exchanging experience in Sarajevo

Sarajevo Open Centre, starting with the end of 2017, has been implementing the project “Reducing peer violence/bullying”, with the support of the German Embassy (German Cooperation). Among other activities we have organised and plan to organise, we realised workshops with parents, psychologists and NGOs as well, in Sarajevo (12-13 October), on the issue of the growing peer violence/bullying.

The moderators of the workshop were Belma Žiga, KBT and integrative psychotherapist for kids and adolescents (Foundation Wings of Hope) and Slobodanka Dekić, researcher and author of the publication Međuvršnjačko nasilje na osnovu različitosti – iskustava i preporuke.

In groups of around 15 participants, the workshop moderators presented the project “Reducing peer violence/bullying” through the politics and programmes of prevention, what SOC wants to achieve with the project and why this topic is of great significance. There was discussion on the existing programmes and how to improve them, and on the role of parents in preventing peer violence and their experience of cooperation with schools, as well as the role of NGOs in implementing the necessary education programmes for students, parents and teachers – on how to approach this issue and how to solve it.

The participants analyzed the possible motives for excluding students through the discussion about the cases that appear in their daily school practice, and how to treat those cases. A special emphasis was put on transgender kids and ways of helping and supporting them in the process of self-discovery and integration with their peers.

From the aspect of psychology, there was talk about the specific elements of adolescence and risk factors for the violence motivated by gender identity or real/supposed sexual orientation. Working in smaller groups, the participants developed a gender-based violence prevention programme for parents and local NGOs.

In the following period we will continue with these workshops in Banja Luka.