Preventing bullying: workshops for parents and NGOs in Tuzla and Bijeljina

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, during May 2018, after the workshopswe had on the topic of exchanging experience with the pedagogues and psychologists of primary schools in Tuzla (13-14 April) and Bijeljina (20-21 April), we realised workshops with parents and NGOs as well, again in Tuzla (11-12 May) and Bijeljina (18-19 May) – 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 As If I Were in Zoo: Violence Against LGBTI Students in High Schools in B&H

In groups of around 10 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 Sarajevo and Banja Luka.