rss

European Network of Animation    www.enoa.ro

ENOA is on Facebook!

enoa

Info

At this site, we like to give you a short overview, about our ideas on the technics and methods of sociocultural animation, streetanimation, empowerment, participation, interculturality, streetwork and networks! We also like to have an exchange of concepts, games and literature for animation!

So if you have some good ideas or experiences, you can contact us!

Don´t mind to give us your ideas and questions on this technics and methods!

ENOA : 4, rue de la Chesnaie, 35250 Saint Sulpice la Foret, France


Action Training in Bosnia 2002

Introduction

This activity was organised through The Venue - Youth Arts Project, of Coventry, UK as a member of enoa. This project has been carried out with the support of the European Community as part of the YOUTH programme. Other contributors include; Nasa Djeca of Sarajevo, BiH and Luciole of Bretagne, France.

Enoa


The Network was established in March 2000. People from 6 different European countries came together for the creating and developing of a new European network specifically based on the concept of Animation. The Network recognises a variety of social factors and shares basic objects of social development. Some of these factors include a recognition of peoples individuality, the existence of social inequalities and the need for and acceptance of multicultural societies. We are promoting the objects of human rights and social justice.

By organising international activities the Network aims to enhance its members to improve their capacity in analysing the existing situation and to learn from each other’s approaches to promote social development according to the cited aims. The Network connects the member’s work in order to exchange ideas, concepts and techniques. Also the Network aims to improve the member’s own capacity by the experience of this working context of intercultural learning, understanding and constructive respecting of different cultural backgrounds. To achieve this global aim we designated the techniques of Animation and Streetwork.

Animation as an interactive method gives us the possibility to improve the ability of individuals for creativity, communication and mobility and to integrate their competences. Streetwork is a method giving us the possibility to bring back public spaces to the public, to give chances for social participation and interaction, and to give the institutionalised art back to the streets and bring people and neighbours in this way together. Our focus lays on the target group of youth and children this does not mean an exclusion of all others.


Enoa Aims

Information and communication

> develop a network that will create a permanent dialog and exchange of experiences, knowledge and techniques of Animation and particularly Street Animation, with intercultural communication as a central tool.

> to create a real coherence between the notions of local and international development of animation and streetwork.

> to advance the intercultural competences, the ability to deal with different modes of living and habitats, to consider their own way of thinking and to develop respect for others

Education and training

> maintain the principles and values of unconstrained education.

> support animators by instruction, training and further education in theory and practice of animation and streetwork techniques at any level.

> disseminate, innovate and develop further the methods and practice of animation and streetwork.

> develop the communicative and creative skills of young persons and children through animation and streetwork.

Projects

> to support local projects of animation and streetwork working in an international and intercultural dimension.

> to initiate, create and carry out bi- and multilateral exemplary projects, which should be an exemplary for others to emulate.

European house

> the creation of an European House of Animation, to bring the methodical work, the practical training and the administration of the network under one European roof and offer a place for exchanging ideas and finding new partners.

Animation

Street animation can and has to be a way for giving to every person the possibility to act in his or her quotidian environment. More than techniques, it’s tool for giving back to the inhabitants the possibility to use and act in the public places. To use them as spaces of expression and spaces of meeting. The aim is to work on the social utility of the people giving back to everybody some ways to express their opinions, their competences in a collective relation, it is working on the dialogue in the local community. In that way, we hope that each person find a place in his or her environment.

In that context every thing can be a technique of street animation because the starting point is the competences of the persons. And trying to make them converge in a collective project and a common aim give the possibility to work on the social place of the individuals in the community. Our work is based on the relations between the inhabitants of a shared territory.

Street animation defends the right of each person to act in his own life, in his quotidian environment.

> Fighting against social exclusion (of individuals and/or groups…),

> Promoting an active citizenship

> Valuing the social image that each person has about himself (self confidence), with a recognition and a development of the individual competences.

> Developing the social utility of the individuals, to help the persons to affirm his/her place in the community

Animation in Refugee Camps

History of this Activity

The idea of this project started to be formalised with the creation of ‘enoa’ in the first semester of 2000. During that first enoa meeting several people were talking about the situation of refugees and refugee camps in the Balkans. While we recognised that we could not have a role in the emergency humanitarian relief work that took place we did feel there was a place for animation in the longer-term lives of the people in these camps.

The real concrete work of preparation started in May 2001 with the writing of the application, the building of partners and search for financial support. Between May and July the team has worked via internet and the phone. We needed to formalise the aims, objectives, and selection of participants procedure. We also used this time for our Bosnian partners to locate and start to make contact with refugee camps in the region. This was all brought together in a preparation meeting in August that included meeting with and making decisions with the inhabitants of the two Camps we were eventually to work with. Three months have passed since the end of the project and we are still in regular contact with the people of the camps as they now support their own youth activities.

The Activity

Overall Aim


We want to make animation in the open spaces of these camps where we can work as

an international group, the inhabitants and local volunteers on activities that will

continue to have a life after the international group has gone.

TheAims 

1. To build new and innovative tools of intervention for youth/social workers.

2. To work closely in partnership with local organizations, so that they can continue and develop the work, that has been started in the international activity.

3. To activate the potentials of inhabitants, local organizations and international participants.

4. To develop and network future projects between participants and local organizations on an international level.

5. For the participants to use and adapt those tools within the refugee camps.

6. For the participants to develop their own work and projects back in their own communities.

Methodologies 

> Intercultural learning process:

o Discovering and understanding about each other and the different ways of working in different cultures.

o To learn something, to take something, to give something.

> Group work

> Different methods of group work including evaluation, whole group, small group, reflection…

> Reflection on theory and practice

> Video documentation:

o A Video Documentation will be made during the whole activity including work and social time. This will be used to reflect on our work on a daily basis. We will produce a video package that can be used as a working tool on the practice of animation.

The Activity 

This was an active training, where we worked alongside the inhabitants of the camps on a daily basis. We also ran open workshops for local organisations, the inhabitants of the camps and the international participants of the activity. Animation as a method of working can create longterm development. The concept was to use the everyday skills of the participants, inhabitants and local organisations in producing longterm activities that were self-sufficient and self managed.

Refugees

In Bosna i Herzegovina (BiH), in 1991 the population of the country was 4,364,649 people. During the war 1,250,000 people were forced to leave the country and 920,000 people were displaced inside the country. At the beginning of 2001 only 1/3 of displaced people had returned to their homes. In Federation BiH there are still 59 camps for displaced persons from all over the BiH, mostly from Republic Srpska – 7,834 persons (3079 family’s).

We were working in two camps near a town called Jablanica, approximately 80KM south of Sarajevo. Our partner organisation Nasa Djeca had worked with some people from these camps some years previously. The two camps we were to work with were Camps Gornja Kolonija andŠljunkara. Between them there were approximately 500 people.

Preparation

For the preparation of the activity the most important thing was the contact and communication to our local partner in Bosnia and to the different authorities, organisations and Embassies. For the methodology and the practical organisation we had a preparation meeting in August in Sarajevo and Jablanica. We met to work on the program, select the participants and have a view on the material and logistical aspects. We made contact with several different local organisations. The preparation meeting was planned for 4 days and took 10 days. For the infrastructure like tents, camping materials etc. we made contact with the British, French and German Embassies, to the French and German S-FOR troops, to the UNHCR and Office of High Representative. We were also required to make contact with and seek permission from the local authorities Regional Secretary for Refugees and with the local Police. A few days before the project, all the team members had a final preparation meeting, to finalise the project.
The Team

The Team was to consist of 5 members.

Nik Paddison from the lead organisation, The Venue - Youth Arts Project, UK.

Berina Hamzic from the host organisation Naša Djeca, BiH.

Denis Morel from Luciole, France.

Alexandra Geier from Enoa, Germany.

Tijana Mirovic from First Children’s Embassy, Belgrade, Yugoslavia.

There were two experts.

Mario Baudouin from Zarabatana, Portugal – Animation Expert.

Colin Bell from The Venue - Youth Arts Project, UK – Video Director.

The four partner organisations for this activity were The Venue, Nasa Djeca, Luciole and First Children’s Embassy. Unfortunately at the last minute due to unforeseen circumstances Tijana Mirovic was unable to participate in the activity because of a USA delegation that decided to visit her project in Belgrade. Because of her position in the organisation and that this was a possible source of funding First Children’s Embassy did not participate in the activity. Although Mario Baudouin was present as an expert he in fact became the fifth team member replacing Tijana Mirovic. 

August 2001

This meeting was the first long meeting that we had all together, with all the team members. We started the meeting with a session on what we wanted to see as the outcome of this project. We spent time defining concrete and collective intentions for this project. We answered different questions; what do we want to promote? What do we mean by animation and street animation? Why is it relevant to use it?

After this consolidation of our base we were able to start work on the programme. We defined a base for programme, really concrete and precise for the first days, more general for the rest because we knew that adaptation would be a permanent pre-occupation for the team. We based the programme very much within the concept of Animation. We would use a model of Action, Evaluation and Theory. Action means, actually doing something physical, pro-actively. Evaluation or reflection is looking back at what we did, what worked, what did not, what could be improved. Theory or research is a chance to study what it is we want to do from a theoretical basis, it can also be self motivated research into a subject or problem. This action is a cycle that is constantly repeated but not in any specific order. See Appendix E for a copy of the Programme.


But another aspect really fundamental to this preparation meeting was to take the time to visit, explain, and collect the expectations of the community. Discussing with them their hopes and fears, making it clear we came with no promises and guaranteed nothing. It was absolute and completely fundamental that the inhabitants of the Camps understood why we were coming and they agreed to us coming. If this did not happen we would end the project at this point. It was also vital for us that our work had a link with the local community of the town of Jablanica. During the preparation meeting we visited the main actors like the Municipality, who granted us permission to work in the camps and appointed Suada the Gornja Kolonija Managers Secretary to be our liaison worker. We also felt it was vital to have local NGO support and established contact with three local organisations: “Under the Same Sun”, “My Neighbour” and ‘You and Me”. All these organisations had or have projects that involved the two camps such as growing of vegetables, computers courses for women, children playgroup etc. All had either ended or were to do so imminently. Also we got in contact with local TV network that visited the camp during our staying there. For more information on these organisations please see Appendix B.

Under the Same Sun

Our will was to make a link with the environment of the refugees camps because working with the local actors of Jablanica can be a good way for putting the project in a long term vision. The organisation ‘Under the same Sun’ created by the young people of Jablanica was particularly interested. We proposed to them (and several other local organizations) to take part in the project. For this the program was organised as an open program, in this way apart from the official participants others could take part in the training and other activities we were proposing. At this moment “Under the Same Sun” is doing the workshops and lectures on drugs and AIDS for youth in camp.

SHL

We made a very positive contact with the German organisation SHL – Schüler Helfen Leben (pupils help living) a section of EIRENE. Due to a change of the Manager and new volunteers coming they were not able to work with us. We also applied for a small amount of money they offer to organisations but they lost our application and sadly despite several assurances of their support none was forthcoming.

Tents and Equipment 

During the preparation meeting we made the decision not to use Hotels as our accommodation. This was important to us again because of the concept we wanted to introduce into these Refugee camps. We debated for a long time about this and found it difficult to promote the idea of self-motivation and project development if we were staying in a Hotel for 80Dm per day per person and acting as great saviours each day when we entered the camps.

It was a necessary condition for us because the project was based on the social links with the community and all the informal times in that context are really precious for this - taking the time to discuss, understand their life, their pre-occupations, sharing ideas and opinions… But there were no place for us in the prefabricated huts the people used as houses. Camping in tents was the only other alternative, the inhabitants of the camps were a little shocked by the idea but actually really appreciated us the more for not living in the expensive Hotel. We made contact with NATO, UNHCR and OHR for seeing for the possibility to give us the tents and equipment for the time of the project, but we didn’t succeed to achieve this, in fact we were led to believe that NATO has no Camping equipment, or even blankets. However we did have a great adventure finding this out through meeting high up officials and taking trips to NATO bases. In the end we made a chance meeting, on the banks of the local river, with the owners of the lakeside campsite who offered to rent us tents and camping equipment.

For the rest of our accommodation needs, we negotiated with the municipality and the camp manager. We could have 2 showers and toilets, in one of the houses of the camp, this we could use during the days. We had a big working room (this is an empty building in the camp, which had been used for the children before). For the food and cooking we decided to “employ” 2 women of the camps to cook for us. We also needed to buy our own cooker and a fridge because there were not any available to us in the building. In another way it was a contribution to the community to leave these two items after we left for the camp.

Flyer

During the preparation we found that most people understood the word animation in the English sense of the word and we seemed to waste a lot of time confusing people. As a result we produced a small flyer in English, Bosnian and French. This contained the information about who we were and the different organisations represented. On the front page there was also a small quote we had created as a way of simply explaining animation in one sentence.

“To use the skills of the individual to work with them in the public spaces

to create activities that they will continue to organize themselves.”

There followed an explanation about the activity we were proposing and the Aims we were following, ther methodologies we would be using and a broad outline of some elements of the programme. Finally there were also some words about enoa and its background. See Appendix A for copies of the flyers.

Materials

Another element we decided on as a principle was to spend very little money on materials. Again we felt that in the spirit of Animation if we were to arrive with a van full of professional material for circus and other activities we would be working against the principle we were promoting. The people in the camps have very little money, so for example if we arrived with nice new shiny juggling balls and did some activity teaching juggling, although we could leave the juggling balls behind after we left when they were lost, broken or sold there would be nothing left. If however we did a workshop on how to make juggling balls using only materials around them followed by teaching how to juggle an activity has been created that will last potentially forever.

Selection of the Participants

For the selection of the participants we wanted to have people really motivated and who understood the importance of this kind of project. To have persons from different parts of Europe was important too for the diversification of the way of working. We felt really concerned too about the possible difficulties of communication. So for those different reasons, the team decided to select half of the participants from European Union countries and half from the Balkans regions.


Our criteria were:

> to have a real motivation regarding the values and aims of the project.

> to have experience in children and youth work

> to be volunteer or professional

> to be sensible to the approach of active participation of the inhabitants

The application form for participants and the subsequent information they were sent can be found in Appendix C & D.

Video

We decided to use the medium of video as a tool in our work. Because we were using the methodology of Action, Evaluation, Theory, we decided to record our Action and as a means of reflection and Evaluation we could play it back to analyse what we were doing. So rather than just using our memory of what we had done the previous day we could have the actual pictures that would also be a different perspective. Unfortunately we had not counted on the remoteness of our mountain home and the lack of facilities we would encounter. We still made a video, which is available from the enoa contact address.

Preparation for our arrival by the camp

Preparation for our arrival was organised in Gornja Kolonija Camp where we were living for ten days in the tents that were put up for us. Everybody especially the young people were very pleased about an International group coming to them. Conditions in the camps don’t allow for any activities for the social or educative development in the community. People don’t get support from any International bodies and no real help from local or Governmental institutions. People are just surviving, wishing only to have a home. All the children under nine years were born in the camps and those up to their mid teens don’t remember their own environment.

September 2001

This few days before the arrival of the participants were important. This meeting gave us a chance for remembering and reflecting on the bases of the project. We took the time to re-define in real concrete details the first few days with the repartition of roles for each of us. We also made a shopping list for all the different kind of materials that we needed and to buy them.

Participants

We were a group of 26 persons. See Appendix H for the list of participants. The participants of this project are all youth workers or social workers, volunteers and/or professionals. Half of the group were composed by persons from Balkans countries. Most of the people were known to enoa and some were new people we had not met before. This was to ensure we had a core group at least who were experienced workers and the newer faces who could also be experienced but for us it means new contacts for the development of enoa and for the creation of future projects. A few people had or were still working in refugee camps context, but everybody was aware and interested to work in this context.


We didn’t want to have a too big group, so as not to invade too much the camps and the daily life of the inhabitants. About the fact that half of the group composed by Balkans countries, 2 mains reasons:

> because refugee camps are common in this region, so our will was to have a multiplier effect, to give motivation to participants who work directly or indirectly in this kind of context to develop this dynamic.

> for a question of mutual understanding with the inhabitants (about the language and the culture).

The main hope was to be able to develop a long-term approach and dynamic, and get the inhabitants making the first step of acting by themselves to bring change in their daily life. The main fear was about a link between us and the inhabitants in such a short space of time, is it really realistic and possible?

Gornja Kolonija/ Šljunkara

Most of the people were forced from their homes by various Serbian military a lot of families lost their close relatives. They have got tired over the years of International humanitarian organisations promising much and delivering very little. There is a lot of anger in the camps directed at International NGO’s and we had to spend some time receiving that anger in order to get through it to a more positive approach to our work. We were very unsure about our reception from the people of the camps because we had participants from Serbia and Croatia. In the end there were no conflicts and all participants and inhabitants were totally integrated in the 10 days process.


These two camps have been in existence for nine years and most of the inhabitants have been in these or other camps throughout that period. As a result many children have been born in the camps. Šljunkara has a lot of problems, it is mostly an elderly population and younger children whereas Gornja Kolonija has a large youth population. Šljunkara is constantly under threat of closure, this has been going on for several years. It is another factor for the apathy in people’s lives. There is no point in organising anything because they will just be moved on again next week – but next week never seems to come.

It is official government policy for all displaced persons to be returned to their towns and villages of origin. At the beginning of this policy there was money to help people rebuild their homes and labour provided to do the work. Nowadays the money is gone and the labour costs a lot of money, only the materials are provided. The people complain that they can do nothing and so do nothing. In reality given the right motivation and guidance most of the people in these camps could rebuild their own houses if they worked together. Most of them are mountain people, they come from places where self sufficiency is the norm. However after so many years of being stuck in these camps and so many broken promises and so any International NGO’s doing for them the people have lost the will and ability to do for themselves.

The camps are made up of pre-fabricated buildings, up to five families living in each hut. Each family has a room to themselves and shared bathroom and toilet/ shower facilities. Often several units of the same family live in the same hut. There is a shop on site and a public telephone. Šljunkara also has some very basic accommodation of rough concrete or piles of wood thrown together. The local municipality charges for rubbish collection, water and electricity to the inhabitants. In the past a local project from Konjic set up large plastic greenhouses to help the people with growing food. Most of the huts have a small area of tilled ground around them. In Šljunkara the camp was built on rock so the inhabitants had to take soil from the river valley below and cover the site so they could grow food. While a lot of NGO’s worked with these camps at the beginning most have now redirected their work first to Kosovo and then Macedonia and very likely now to Afghanistan. Whilst we understood the need to make crisis intervention it was hard to see the point in just short-term strategies.

There is some friction between the camps but more so between the camps and the local town of Jablanica. Even within the camps there are different factions and groupings. It took us some time to fully understand this, perhaps naively so, since each camp is like a small village and what village in the world does not have its own political strife operating within it. There is high unemployment amongst the camp people and a tendency toward heavy drinking. The only activity taking place in the Gornja Kolonija was a playgroup for very small children run by a local NGO from Konjic about twice a week. This was coming to an end because the UNHCR was pulling out the last of its money from that organisation and the only worker was going to lose her job. There were no activities taking place in Šljunkara.

The setting of the camps is beautiful, Šljunkara is below the town of Jablanica near the river, while Gornja Kolonija is above the town about half way up the surrounding mountains. Šljunkara has a population of around 167 persons and Gornja has approximately 335.

Lasting Impressions


Reception at Camp

As soon as we arrived with the group in the camp we were surprised to see so many people waiting for us. The reception in Jablanica was very cordial if not a little overwhelming. The inhabitants had been well prepared by our local partners. The children and young people, for sure, were the first around us. The place in front of our “working and meal house” filled up fast with inhabitants of all age groups. There was never a negative tendency opposite us. Everything had been very well prepared, before we arrived. The tents were built up there were nice mattresses. After short time the first inhabitants were presented and some tried to start communicating with linguistic restrictions naturally. In shortest time we had become accustomed to our new lives and our tents became our home, although sometimes wet and cold.

Our Life

About our daily life, the community was taking care about us, which means that we had really the feeling quickly to have a place in the camp, to be accepted. But let's have a look on different elements of the daily life.

The Tents

The tents were in various stages of disrepair, but the people of the Refugee camps and the owners of the tents had put them up, we were also provided with tables and benches for inside our building by the camp site owners. Each tent could sleep up to six of us although several people opted to sleeping on the floor of our building on mattresses we also had these inside the tents. There tents were set up around our building but not together. At first they were considered our domain but toward the end of the ten days several of the children of the camp decided they could use them to play in as well. This was a little hard for many of us because these tents were the only place we had to escape from the world for a few minutes. We also seemed to be adopted by a little flea bitten puppy and several similar kittens who insisted on climbing into sleeping bags in the middle of the night which was always a shock in the morning.

The Cooks

As mentioned before we undertook to employ two women in the camp who would cook for us. They also provided a car and driver for the buying of food. We ended up paying him as well at the end of the activity with much gratitude. A special connection was established with the two cooks and the driver who tried to communicate with us as much as possible. The cooks became favourite friends for many of us with a seemingly endless supply of coffee especially early in the morning with the rain, sun or clouds outside. Each meal was basic but well prepared and usually more than we could eat. The only complaint I received in the week about food was about the amount we could not eat. Initially we had agreed to employ the two women to just cook, we would be responsible for the cleaning of the dishes etc. in reality they would stay in the kitchen from before most of us ever got up to early evening. As for us cleaning anything in the kitchen room we were simply not allowed.

Computers and Photocopiers

These are something we take for granted, they are at every activity these days. Half way up a mountain they are not available. This meant another round of negotiations for getting access to these things. We found a photocopier in Jablanica which we could pay for though it was usually out of paper. We were able top use the computers at the Under the Same Sun Youth Centre, though for printing we had to use the computer in their office which meant more negotiations.

It also meant keeping the accounts on paper, since there was nowhere private this was done in the tent. One of my long long memories I will have of this activity will be that of sitting in the tent on sleeping bags and clothes, papers and a rubber chicken at night with a torch strapped to my head trying to keep account of the outgoings with a small puppy trying to sleep on the calculator.

The Storm

It was a day not to forget well more a night! We were sleeping in tents (army tents) it was quite comfortable but cold has hell! Fortunately in some of the tents there was people enough to make it warm enough to have a good sleep. One of the nights that we were very comfortable inside of our sleeping bags, suddenly a flash – Who is taking pictures at this time of the night? Well the noise after this took of all the doubts that we had about this strange event, and it was a hell of a storm the mountains just make it more strong with the echo and this one was the most beautiful one that I ever felt. Suddenly everyone was awakened with the adrenaline in the highest points. But sleeping inside of a tent with more people is like camping with kids, so, more nervous we get, more jokes we said, start laughing like hell. But the storm continued and got stronger than at the beginning. When it is raining like crazy and lightening crashing all around and on top of the place where you are sleeping, going out is not the thing that you want to do. But some of us went out to check on the other tents because there was also hell of a wind. We discovered one tent where they were all asleep and missed the whole thing. Another tent was almost completely destroyed and the participants had all fled inside to escape. Another was leaking badly but they were determined not to leave. There was quite a flood outside and gradually with the sounds of nature naturally we fall down a sleep again. What a perfect night.

The next morning the inhabitants told us it was just an average kind of storm!

Early Mornings

Sleeping in the middle of mountains it’s like being blessed with nature every day by the green sight that mountains offer, and during the night it’s a strange feeling of protection when you feel that mountains can speak and comfort you during the night and gaze at the clear and bright stars. But it was the early mornings that really struck the romantic chords in everybody. With swirling clouds all around us, hiding and revealing valleys and jutting rocks. It was easy to wait in the queue for the shower or spend a few extra minutes over a cup of coffee.

Sarajevo

On Wednesday we went to Sarajevo for a day off and a sightseeing tour. Also a few inhabitant and the two Camp managers came with us. After a short walk through the old part of town we separated and small groups started to go on their individual tour. The team held a meeting and we all met again in the evening for dinner and a quick concert attendance. Unfortunately the weather was very bad, it rained nearly the whole day. Sarajevo is nevertheless always worth a visit and many of the participant were gratefully for one day off and to get some distance.

Final Party

The Video


The Role of Colin

Colin’s role was to capture the work we were doing both in the training aspect of the participants and the action we were partaking in with the inhabitants. We came to Bosnia with 14 digital tapes but ended up using nearly 20. This represents over 40 hours of recording. One of the reasons for this excessive use of tape was Colin’s unfamiliarity of Animation, so it took a few days for him to acclimatise himself to the programme and the second reason he explains in his own words.

Colin’s Camera Assistants

I went to Bosnia not really knowing what to expect, I had two video cameras and I was going to film what happened, but what actually happened exceeded any expectations I had.

When I arrived in Sarajevo my first sights were similar to the news footage, all I knew about Bosnia – bombed out buildings etc. We received a very warm welcome from Berina one of the co-ordinators from Bosnia and I soon relaxed. When we arrived in the area where the camps were I took out the cameras and started filming the camp where we were staying. The people and especially the young people I could see were curious about me and the camera especially me a six foot three black man with dreadlocks. The kids soon gathered round cautiously and I let them look through the viewfinder and made gestures to show how to start and stop it and I let them film each other.

By the following day I had befriended a young Bosnian or he befriended me? As he spoke a little English and he showed a real interest in the camera he and a couple of his friends were shown basic camera techniques how to set it up and put it away, how to use the boom and even the radio mikes. The first afternoon they took me on a short tour of the camp which we took turns to use the camera and later on I gave them the other camera and they went off with it. I do have to add they were very confident and they were known as my camera assistants from there on.

The young boy who spoke English was teaching the rest how to use the equipment with the skill of a professional. I regularly teach groups to use the equipment but these boys picked it up in no time at all and for the rest of the time I felt no qualms to hand them over £3000 worth of camera equipment and know there would not be any problems. A day after that I had a second team operating the other camera and was virtually redundant. On one occasion I was wanting to film outside but it was raining so within a few minutes a small army of young people had taken plastic carrier bags, the outer plastic of a cigarette box and sticky tape to make a completely rain proof protection for the camera.

The rest of the time I used the cameras to document the activities and the animation.

As a final thought I had one of the best experiences of my life so far, the people were very hospitable, warm and genuine and the team of animators couldn’t have been better suited to the task at times it wasn’t easy there was disappointments but at the end of the day very successful.

End Result

The video that has been produced will be distributed to all the participants of the activity and a number will be made available to the inhabitants. We will use the video not only to promote what we have done in Bosnia but we will also use it as a tool for training of other people in Animation techniques and methodologies.

Programme

During the preparation phase the team planned a program. But we knew that it was most important to think about the process, and to define the first days. Because of the specificities of the context we knew that the program should evolve a lot.

So the different steps of the process were:

> Building a relation of confidence with the inhabitants. For this street animation techniques are interesting for working in direct contact with children and young people. As soon as the contacts are good the parents see the pleasure of their child, and a global confidence appear.

> Starting with the skills of the participants.

> Working on the inhabitants, their skills, their expectations.

> Work with them on possible and realistic “strategies” for the future, based on the self-organisation of their community.

Training with Participants

Working with an international group is always difficult when language and cultural differences are in the way of work. Using a methodology where the participants can be a part of the building of the programme was, at the beginning a good solution and method of work, but as the days went on it turned out to be more difficult to manage then the team expected.

This happened because during the training the number of participants started to get bigger and bigger with the some of the inhabitants becoming participants. It was the participants at one point that were dictating the direction of the programme. Although their involvement was part of the plan the team allowed themselves to be pushed into making decisions that some of the stronger voiced participants wanted rather than the whole group. It became clear in the team evaluation in December that our methodology had confused the participants and that we had made a complete U-turn half way through the week that confused things even more. In reflection we needed to be clearer in our participant information that we distributed before the activity.

Also there were some problems with social life that sometimes made the work more difficult, some of these problems were the mornings. When we wanted to start half of the participants arrived a half hour late, some because problems on the showers but others because of sleepy problems. Some people had problems with fully understanding and keeping up with the constant timetable changes. But what to do when you are working under pressure and you don’t have a place to think in a relax way of what was going on, so sometimes people made themselves a little distant. In conclusion there was different motivations and ways of work that in the end of this meeting were more clear for the people and we came to the conclusion that a continuation of this work was absolutely necessary.

First Evening

The first evening was pretty disastrous, we had lost a participant at the point of pick up in Sarajevo so our arrival in the camps was several hours late. Also a number of other participants were to arrive 24 hours late due to some problems with their flights. However on the first evening we spent time to become acquainted with each other, to meet some of the people of the Gornja camp and to gain an orientation of the Camp.

First Day

After the official welcome by Nasa Djeca, My Neighbour and the Camp Manager, we had an introduction to the seminar (targets, methods, programme, enoa) and an overview of the situation in the two camps. After lunch we out on to a discovery journey through the Camps with the target of making the first contacts and beginning to meet with the people and discuss amongst ourselves more about each other and strategies for working. With many of the children it was very easy to make these contacts. If one went in the afternoon through the Camp, you saw already participants sitting drinking coffee with older inhabitants.

Animation Theory

We had a session after the time around the camps on some theory of animation. This session consisted of a repeat of the overall aim and a chance to once more go over the methodologies. The process was also stressed in this session:

Action

Reflection/ Evaluation

Theory/ Research

Action

Reflection/ Evaluation

Theory/ Research

Action…

This was to involve experimentation, the trying of new things, practising old skills, it was to be about receiving as well as giving.

The following is a transcript of the remainder of that session:

Street animation can be a possibility for every person to act to their full potential within their own environment. More than a load of techniques it is a concept for enabling the inhabitants to make action in the public places, within these spaces communication, meeting and expression can take place.

The aim of animation is not to create a nice piece of theatre take the applause and go. The aim is to work within the social, personal and political development of the individual and therefore the community within which they live. The process gives permission (in some cases for the first time) for the people top express their opinions, their competences, skills, ideas and views in a collective way with others around them.

In order for this process to happen each individual must find his or her own place and starting point. The role of the animator is to be open to the changes the public around them are experiencing. The animator does not control the person, the animator accompanies them on their road of discovery to another reality, which may or may not be the freedom, liberty or desire they were looking for.

So concretely what is street animation and what is not? There is not a pattern that I can lay out and say this is it and this is how you do it. Put simply, it is a concept and a process. Basically anything can be street animation. The end result of animation should be social change, and this is not just change for the communities we are working for it is important to recognise that we are as much participants within our own process as the people we are working with.

The process then is to enable the individual and through them the community to value themselves for who they are and the skills that they possess. So with the individuals we can create an inventory of skills that can then be pooled together with other individuals to raise awareness of the groups skills. Through these inventories and awareness raising there can come a time of realisation of projects, activities and movements that come from the people themselves.

It is vital that the animator builds up a picture of the community he or she will be working with. There is a need for a knowledge of the geography, culture perhaps even a little history. What worked last week in Rennes or Bari or Coventry may not work here. People within the same place may well be different as well, and certainly within the two refugee camps we have here the people are different. It is up to us to change to the needs of the people we are working with.

Intercultural Market

On Saturday evening our first party took place. Originally it was to be a kind of welcome party for us and a chance to meet many of the inhabitants. We later learned it was the first celebration in the Camp for eight years. Actually this celebration should have been an open intercultural market. The participants had brought along specialities and music from their countries and regions of Europe. In addition there were plans to have different dancing and music. When the inhabitants heard of the celebration, they organized at the last moment a band for live music, which played Bosnian traditional music and pop music. We enjoyed all the specialities from different countries and learned the Bosnian style to dance. We never did do our activities for them.

Animation in my own reality

This session was done in small groups and was an opportunity to for the participants to exchange information about their reality, their role in their daily work and the role of youth work in their local community. This session was to do a link between values of animation and street animation and concrete reality of the field.

Skills Session

With the Skills session the following questions were the centre of attention: 

What are my skills? 

How can I use them? 

What is the link to animation? 

How can I integrate these skills into the seminar and the work in the camp?

Everyone wrote on paper on the floor their different skills and slowly we started to make groups. The skill-groups theatre, circus, construction, making musical instruments and so on… The participants assigned themselves to the different groups. We made sure that there was an experienced animateur in each group. In these small working groups we went out to the first actual animation in the Camps.

Animation Groups to Different Camps

The skill session before was done to take the competences of the participants, for developing secure feeling for the development of contacts with the children and youngsters of the camps. So after this preparation (what skills I have and how concretely I will use it in the community), the group was divided in 2 parts, one for Gornja and the other for Šljunkara. After the discovering of the day before, this afternoon of animation were fundamental in this confidence building relation process. It gave us too a more concrete and precise vision of the reality of the camps, the preoccupations of the inhabitants, particularly the young people.

Intercultural Game

The game “Derdians” had the aim of analysing our own cultural aspects and prejudices, to detect the standards of other cultures and to check our own behaviour opposite new cultures. The group was separated into two sections. One group were the experts that had to teach the Derdians how to build a bridge. The Derdians received different instructions for their cultural behaviour e.g. a handshake is an offence. The experts had to get to know as much as possible of the culture of the others. Then they had to teach the Derdians how to build the bridge with the given materials. After this game we had an evaluation and a discussion on the theory of intercultural communication. For a full set of instructions please see Appendix G.

Animation Workshops

After the initial approaches to the people in the camps we had gained a sense of what skills existed and so we could start to formulate workshops that people from the camps were able to participate in. These workshops were done in such a way that young and old people were able to participate and with this we had a tool to approach the people with the beginning of concrete realities. The following two examples were from the Gornja camp.

One such workshop was a construction workshop. The objective of this workshop was to get to the men and young men to improve their place of living and so create some motivation for their own environment. This group undertook the building of a fence, the building of a theatre and a group for climbing the mountains for cutting wood.

Another workshop was for making musical instruments. This one attracted mostly the children up to the age of 12 or 13 years. But after some days some of the young men were particularly interested in the possibilities of doing some music Bosnian style music with their own equipment and so create some kind of music group in the camp.

Animation in the Camps

So for the rest of the week everyday we were going in the 2 camps. Progressively, the animation became less and less formal and less organised by us. But our presence became more and more a way to have a space of communication with the inhabitants and a space of expression for them. We were all living in the camp of Gornja. It’s the reason that after a few days, we were “belonging” to the environment and the daily life of the camp. During the “formal” program, we had a lot of relations with the community and the rest of the time, all the informal moments were a kind of continuation of the process, with natural and permanent social links with the inhabitants.

At the end, the dimension of animation was less and less present. It was more social animation, developing the social links and our role was to help some concrete ideas to appear, and give them tools to build their own ideas. But what was going on in the two camps was very different below is an explanation of the work of the two camps.

Gornja Kolonija

Music:
The objective was to make some exchanging between the young people and us, listening to different sounds and trying to create something new.

What was made:

Teaching and learning music, Dancing, also there was a group created to organise some party’s which was something that they didn’t do before. It also created news links among the people in the camp.

Theatre:

The objective for this was more to work with the young people and produce some results when they start to organise between themselves and so reach a point where they could present sketches.


What was made:

Building of the theatre – small wooden construction outside.

Sketches and some presentations in on two evenings, these they organised themselves and invited us to. The young people also invited a number of other people, parents etc. and performed their sketch, unfortunately for most of us we could understand nothing but we were assured it was very funny.

De-mine operations:

The objective for this workshop was to know more about the activity of one person that had this job outside of the camp and for us to learn more about this dangerous activity. It was also part of a strategy to boost the confidence of this particular individual because their was a lot of potential for him to become the main youth leader in the camp.

What was done:

One open workshop for all the people that want to learn more about this area of skill also about the dangers that mines represent.

Associations Workshop:

The objective for this workshop (which happened at the request of the inhabitants) was to discuss with them why they need to organise themselves as an association and also what they can do as activities inside their association.

What was done:

Lots of meetings between people of the different camps

Organising a program

Proposing activities

So between the participants of the seminar and the inhabitants of the camps lots of things started to appear which made us think that this methodology of work serves its purpose of motivating for self-organisation after we leave.

Human lessons:

Living inside of a refugee camp made us think before going there that we will have lots of difficulties dealing with people. Mainly the human approach was the thing that we were more afraid. But this turns out to be not true because there were lots of things that they want us to see and more important lots of things to teach us. Some of those things were cooking and how to cut really good the wood. But they also give us simple pleasures like climbing the mountain and watching a superb sky, the dancing, laughing, the jokes and most important of all it was to know how to make a really good coffee.

Šljunkara

Our animation in Šljunkara was mainly animation for children and young people (juggling, painting etc.), for girls (dance and make-up) and for adults (formal and informal discussions and meetings). The situation in the Camp Šljunkara was much more difficult, this also affected our work. The first impression about Šljunkara is that it seems quite run down, there is no paved road and no place/space/public area for the inhabitants to meet. The Camp manager was an inhabitant of the Camp but he does the work unpaid and a short time after our activity he emigrated to Canada. The inhabitants were generally in a worse financially situation and the basic mood was less positive in this Camp. Like the other Camp it does not receive financial support anymore.

Our work here was more difficult, we could spend only a few hours per day there. Contrary to Gornja Kolonija we had no informal time for being together or speaking with the inhabitants, which was extremely important in this project. As a result each day was always like the first day. The idea/method to get in contact with the adults by working with the children worked out only moderately, because the children and young people were extremely hard work. There had to be at least 3 persons to play with the kids so that the others could be working with the adults. It was often difficult to work in Šljunkara with both, adults and young people. While the young people were usually distracted in Gornja Kolonia by plays and other activities, there was less space and time for the work with the young people and adults here. The children and young people of Šljunkara demanded again and again their space and our attention and were extremely taxing. A problem was also the problem of proximity and distance of these children, which we could solve only insufficiently, because of the linguistic problems. Often we had only one person to translate.

The attempt to initiate self-organization was difficult, since the inhabitants were in an expectation attitude and showed less self-initiative. A success was however that we could improve and extend the contact of the inhabitants from Šljunkara to the inhabitant of the other Camps. This was also an often expressed desire of the inhabitants of both Camps. We organized different meetings of the two Camps, one for the children and young people, one for women and one for all at our last party. We hope that the two Camps keep this contact and the inhabitants of Šljunkara can profit from the successes in Gornja Kolonia.

One activity that did take place as mentioned above was the make up workshop.

Make Up:

The objective for this one was to work more on an approach with woman and children, and also to help them to stay more beautiful.

What was made:

Teaching how to do a good make up and how to stay beautiful.

Playing with children

Listen about problems of life in the camps.

Games and Games

At every stage of the week we tried to introduce games, before and after the lunch especially when a large number of young people gathered outside our building and eating area. Most of these were playground style games and had only a limited effect in the young people joining in. It did however attract more and more spectators each day from all ages of the community who no doubt thought we were all completely mad.

Telling Jokes All Night

Usually our "work" was done after dinner. As mentioned in the previous paragraph outside our building a large number of young people would gather. Many of us took to sitting evening in front of the house with the inhabitants. Stories, experiences, ideas and jokes were exchanged. This informal time was extremely important and led to a large confidence and sympathies on both sides.

Peoples Houses

The following shows the sympathies that built up between us and the levels of trust that were exchanged. Several people were invited to sleep in the houses of the inhabitants, this number did increase after the storm but it was happening from quite early on. Some of the participants began to refer to their hosts as adopted mothers or grandmothers.

As we lived on a day to day basis we helped where we could another occasion was bringing in some bodies washing when it started to rain. Others were intrigued by a certain kind of food we were given on several occasions, it is called Pita and means Pie, it comes with several different fillings, meat, potato, cottage cheese or spinach. A number of participants made arrangements with some of the inhabitants to learn how to make this Pita.

Further Animation Theory

About half way through the week we held a session to review where we had got to and to ensure we were still following the principles of animation. At this stage it was also our intention that the participants would start to work with groups of young people who would themselves lead workshops for others in the camps. This was a stage that was more relevant for Gornja than for Šljunkara.


We looked at:

Our role in making interactive activities

Had we progressed to making workshops in a move toward self organisation

Our awareness of the competencies and skills of the young people and other inhabitants

Were we leaving space for freedom of expression for the inhabitants

Were we acting together with the inhabitants

Were the inhabitants able to build new workshops with us

Are the activities we and they were doing interactive

Who were the key players who could be developing the self organisation.
Also we produced a set of guidelines that were put to the wall for workshops in street animation.

for who?

place/ role of the public?

place/ role of each of the animators?

what kind of space to use?

organisation and preparation of the space?

materials list?

Role of Balkan Participants – Interpreter / Participant

A number of the participants came from countries of the former Yugoslavia. As a result there were a large number of us who could translate from Bosnian to English. For those from Slovenia it was the most difficult as their respective languages have quite a number of differences but they were able to help quite substantially despite these problems. For the others from Croatia and Serbia the languages are very close so there was not so much of a problem.

However toward the end of the 10 days it was noticed that the Balkan participants were being used more and more for translation purposes and less for the animation activities. As the work we were doing became more urgent and frantic it got harder to be patient to work out what each other was saying so it was easier to grab a Balkan participant and ask them to interpret. This was not actually complained about by any of the participants but it did raise some concerns for the team.

Future Projects

This was not a classical European activity. It was an action training in a very specific context. For us the most important aspect was the follow up concerning the inhabitants themselves. The direct future perspectives are a real self-organisation with different groups, the organising of a homework club for the young people, sport activities, music and social events…


We managed to organize a meeting at the end between a group of the inhabitants of the 2 camps and a local organization, which proposed to help them in the forming of their self-organization and their projects. In another way, some of the participants will continue some links in the future, like linking with inhabitants from a refugee camp in Serbia. So there is some future perspectives which seems really interesting.

Evaluation

During this project, we had two kinds of evaluation:

All Week

We tried to have a permanent evaluation. It’s the reason that several times we had some evaluation groups. And in this project, the daily team meetings were fundamental because with this project, we couldn’t anticipate all the things. The activity is based on human dimension and relations we had created a context, we had started a process but we knew that after this a lot of things were possible. It’s the reason that the program changed a lot, a lot of the time. But this permanent evaluation was the only possibility to stay coherent with the reality. Below is some transcript from some of these evaluations from one of the small evaluation groups (eg’s).

Sunday:

(Gornja) good day; young people great; two teams doing the video one started to teach the other; time this afternoon too short; strange feeling that we are invading the camp; good feeling; people welcomed us; lots of kids from Jablanica; feel good; very tiring;

(Šljunkara) needed the whole group to go to Šljunkara to meet the people; should not have changed the groups from yesterday it goes against the principles of animation; it has been to fast today (a lot of time pressures); yesterday was their decision to meet or speak with us today we went to them; want to participate more; waiting for kids to learn better; the children are here all day; most of the teenagers are boys where are all the girls; can one of the workshops include singing.

Tuesday:

Great day; enjoyed; continuity of work in Šljunkara is very hard; some young people have started to organise themselves; they want to make a dance and they want it filmed.

Thursday:

(Šljunkara) afternoon women’s meeting excellent; women’s meeting in Šljunkara 4 women came; meeting was good; not a real result; next meeting not set; relationship with young people is getting better in Šljunkara; but progress is progressing; for a first meeting it was good because the women of Šljunkara were getting integrated; talked a lot about cooking Pitta; the most distant people we had problems with were there waiting for us the ones we were good with were not there;

(Gornja) after 3.00 the young people were satisfied; many things are more clear; also they are fearing it is a more serious job than they thought before; they wanted materials to read about youth work; women’s group had a basketball professional from before the war who wanted to teach; it was good to focus on the women today because we have spent a lot of time with the young people; the women are very important to the life of the camp – they run it; very good day with the young people in the morning; excellent women’s meeting in the afternoon; spoke a lot with Emir (potential youth leader) in the night he is excited but not so radical now; they had a meeting and asked us to leave they wanted to do it themselves; we have underestimated the young people here; want to know where they can get support and finances; some of us were sleeping this afternoon it is not a good example; we need to be sharper; important for us to be around; not enough communications between us – the Šljunkara and Gornja groups.

Final evaluation

The final evaluation was not so easy to do, for 2 main reasons:

- because it was the last day with the inhabitants, they were preparing a party for us, and they (and we) wanted to use the rest of the moments to spend together.

- because it was a new experience and really strong experience for all of us.

This evaluation was based on: the contents, the atmosphere, the process and methods, the perspectives. And through this final evaluation, the expression was more an expression of strong feelings that each of us had. Below are some comments recorded by several of the participants. Further comments can be found in Appendix I.

Three questions were asked:

What have I done?

How do I feel about it?

What have I learned?

What I would change?


1 What have I done?

I was spending my free time in Gornja and working in Šljunkara which was a little bit awkward. I have made some young people think what they want to do in the life but I don’t know if they will do it afterwards.

To become more interested and respecting relationships to the people. To look what are these interests and normal daily life and to respect this. With the work with the children – to lead them playing together – to do simple games they can do when we are away, to give them structure and to discover their skills they develop in this situation. To give them an atmosphere so that they could be self aware and try the new things. To motivate and encourage the women to make changes. To be interested in the life of the women. To give structure.

2 How do I feel about it?

When it was starting in I felt like I am doing something and it will work but now I am not sure about that. I feel like they are saying that everything is nice and they will continue but I am not sure.

I recognised that this are my skills – give structure/ continuity in relationships – which I like to do. I learned about other skills by looking but I had to less possibility to try these and I felt insufficient about it.

3 What have I learned?

This was a new experience for me and I don’t know much about it but I think that we are changing our to come to the that we were always just starting not developing it.

To be not to be impatient, to accept small steps and to accompany people I this process is for me not to force them but to recognise the steps in this process. Also I learned how to give people structures to force them to give structures by themselves. Also learned that one aim can be reached by different methods.

What would I change?

The first respondent made no comment on this section.

I like to have more information about the structure in the camp situation of the families in the beginning, for me it was insufficient to know less about activities in the camp and the situation to Jablanica. Also I’d like to have more about methods and methodologies to have the chance to know and learn not only by doing or looking from others but as a basic for work. To be more aware how near or distant contact to the inhabitants is professional and useful. Translators are needed – not participants as translators only. Link between intercultural learning and animation.

Team Evaluation

During the project as we said the team meetings were very important because of the permanent adaptations that we were obliged to do. But regarding the complexity and intensity of this project, we had a month of evaluation between the team members via Internet. With distance and in brief here are the main elements of this process.

First we were all agreed on the relevance of this project particularly and this kind of project in general. We have reached and lived something that was really new in terms of intensity and importance. Because our aim was to, in a few days try to make the inhabitants acting more in their life. Saying like this, it can sound like a utopia but now we know that it is realistic to have this finality! It is the most important element of the evaluation.

This project was a total innovation for each of the team members. Because of this we were discovering a reality in the same time that we were acting on it. It’s the reason that we made a lot of “mistakes” in the same time. But those mistakes make us realise about what is really important in this kind of project:

· To have a real team work, where each person should be at the same level, but with a clear repartition of tasks.

· To have a real team atmosphere that includes the participants too. For example, we have started the project directly in the camp. Maybe it could be relevant to be before during 1 or 2 days outside the camps. It could contribute to the work of the group building and give a real opportunity to every participant to be involved in the process decision making.

· If we start a methodology of working in an activity this methodology needs to be used to the end and not change halfway through.

· To develop more the local links, with more participants from local organisations, really involved in the process. It’s a better guarantee to have follow up after.

· In this perspective, to have one person of the team from the region of the project gives real possibilities of supporting the process in the following months.

· There is a need for more local people to be involved in the preparations, for example we needed two Berina’s in BiH

· To work more on the information and sensitisation of the community of the camps. This for trying to work more on the involvement of the inhabitants.

· To focus only on a few inhabitants, and maybe changing the status in the camps.

For example the reaction of the group with A…… Was it 100% good? To put him like on a stage, to involve him in all, as if he was a manager or one person with responsibilities in the camp. But he had not responsibilities before, and we have seen that he doesn’t have a unity in the community! Did we commit a kind of colonialisation?

· We need to work more alongside the local politics

· Activities should be focused on one area, not on two neighbourhoods or two camps

· We want to have continuity between activities, so each activity has a real link

· We want to promote what we did in BiH as a methodology.

All these elements are really to be developed and taken in account in the projects in general, and more in this kind of project. But definitely, we know now that we have reached a new step in terms of social intervention. Definitely we are persuaded about the pertinence of this approach. It can be transferred in different contexts, not only in refugee camps but every place were there is some social crises, disadvantaged areas like hard neighbourhood, small villages in specific places.

And it’s this new approach that we are starting to formalize…

Details of them Teams evaluation can be found in Appendix J.

Results

Changes in the camp

Berina Hamzic our partner from Sarajevo has maintained a weekly contact with the camp and has visited at least once a month since the end of the activity. The following is a her report from speaking with the people of the camp.

Last night, people who live from the beginning in the camp told me that we are the first one in 8 year of existence of camp who come and live with those people for ten days, we were only one who actually not just ask but listen their needs, wishes, hopes, fears.

As I told you before, this kind of work was totally strange to them, and after I came few days later, kids call me and set the meeting. From Sunday (when we left) till Friday (5 days), they visited Secretary, Jablanica main Officer (something like Mayor) and get them to give the keys of house 25 for the Youth Club. They made a list of members, plan of the activities and prepare what they will ask me where and for what to search for financial help.

They also signed a agreement between Camp Manager, Secretary and Youth Club about conditions and time of work there. On our meeting they were all here and looked very serious. Two days later I again went to Jablanica with my mother to distribute school material and some clothes to both camps and youth come in 25 house, count the things, and took it to the recipients to distribute because they wanted to be involved in what is happening in the camp. Believe me, that is important in such a environment.

And again we talked about possibilities of computer courses in ‘Under the Same Sun’. They said that they are very grateful that we were here and that we wake them up. We are now looking for one organisation that also work with Jovanka in Serbia camps to involve them in the trainings and their attention to those camps.

Plus one more thing. I think that if we would be so precise, so stick to the plan and program, so caring about time, our manners and all other things we would not have such a close touch to them. They looked strangers coming to their camp almost all the time with so big distance and pre-potency.

THIS WAS DIFFERENT.

Maybe then we didn’t achieve as much as we wanted with the participants and their development of skills but I think that this was also some new step for them. I don’t have a competency to judge this so much.

(more than a month later)

Unfortunately young get a bit down because it seems that they don’t have enough support from local community, both in camp and city government. They find it difficult to raise the money for the activities that they planned and we will do our best to guide them or try to find sponsors for their education and development of their skills and plans for independent work in camp. Also one of the reasons why they loose the spirit is the fact that they can leave camp anyday, and everybody return to their original towns.

(beginning of December)

I haven’t seen … (leader from Šljunkara) but it looks that he missed all the meetings at Gornja and Secretary, and looking for his own interest. Shit I thought that it wont be like this. Also Manager left, a new one will come, I’ll speak with him next time when I have chance to go again.

Further Reflections

Despite the gradual decline in enthusiasm the work in Jablanica still continues. A group of young people from Gornja went to Sarajevo with Berina just before Christmas to try and have some meetings with some Government officials and to try and find an organisation that would sponsor them. The trip produced no tangible or positive results leaving them more despondent than ever.

However several of the participants and team are looking for ways now to find more support. Some are even thinking to use holiday to travel to the camps and work with the young people to try to find solutions. Many of the group are still in contact, both with inhabitants and with each other.

We do have a model of work that is unique and strong and powerful for the people it touches, we made a lot of mistakes and the model is far from perfect, but if it is something we as enoa choose to work on and choose to acknowledge it is something that we can develop and promote to other agencies for the benefit of so many others in so many refugee camps as well as other forgotten communities in our towns and cities.

Despite some of the strong negativity that can be read in this report what we have achieved is a great step. Many of us both team and participants are continuing to work together on further and new projects. As an organisation enoa will be looking to promote this methodology for this kind of situation. In reality it is nothing new and is a part of most European based youth work. But by focusing on it and promoting it among the people we are working with it has a strong influence on a small community.


In October 2002 there will be an indirect follow up to this activity. Again through the support of The Venue - Youth Arts Project enoa will undertake a similar activity in Coventry UK, working with refugees and local young people in one of the poorest parts of the city. enoa firmly believes in the development of its work in every way. We hope to see some of the same participants and team and if it is at all possible (British Visa laws permitting) perhaps even some of the inhabitants from Gornja or Šljunkara.

01.01.2008. 11:38

Powered by CERC.ro