The Center for Peacebuilding (CIM) is a peacebuilding organisation working for reconciliation among the people of Bosnia-Herzegovina. They offer a space for inter-ethnic and inter-religious dialogue that is highly valuable in a country where Croat, Serb, Bosniak and other groups are often segregated. The CIM also looks to support peace processes in other countries around the world. CIM was actually founded in 2004, almost a decade after the signing of the Dayton Peace Accords. The founders felt that peacebuilding work is essential since the wounds of war have left deep and lasting divisions in Bosnian society, and they felt the need to counter the nationalist propaganda that remains commonplace.
CIM runs an annual Peace Camp, a week-long retreat for individuals from different ethnic groups to discuss taboo topics relating to the conflict in Bosnia-Herzegovina. At the same time, participants are trained in skills of non-violent conflict resolution. Because CIM believes that true progress requires sustained effort, they have developed a three-year training programme, whereby participants are encouraged to attend two Peace Camps. After this, CIM provides organisational support for participants as they implement training in non-violent communication and conflict resolution and facilitate dialogue for primary school children in their own communities. Participants for the two peace camps in the last two years were about 40 people including: Serbs, Croats, Jews and Bosniaks. Participants came from BiH, Switzerland, Germany, Palestine/Israel and the USA. CIM also arrange monthly lectures and international delegations who come to learn about the war in Bosnia-Herzegovina and to foster international connections in order to build a mutually supportive network of peacebuilders operating across national boundaries.
In addition to its current programmes, CIM has plans for further growth and expansion in the coming years, which primarily center around the development of a Peace Embassy. The Peace Embassy will provide a much-needed secular gathering space for members of the community where tolerance and dialogue will be fostered. Once operational, the Peace Embassy will be a self-sustaining enterprise, housing CIM’s ongoing programs, which will continue to be offered to the community free of charge.
Last updated: October 2016