Remembering Srebrenica is increasing its engagement with young people in schools and universities across the UK in order to teach a new generation about the impact of hatred and intolerance through learning about the Srebrenica genocide. A number of our ‘Champions’, who have previously attended our flagship ‘Lessons from Srebrenica’ educational programme, have been organising community action and workshops in their own communities in order to raise awareness of the impact of genocide and work towards the rejection of racism and extremism.
Remembering Srebrenica Champion, Tasif Zaman, recently held a workshop entitled “Lessons of our Common Humanity” with a focus on Srebrenica and the Holocaust. This was delivered as part of Tasif’s role as a student advisor with the Joseph Interfaith Foundation and engaged 16-year old students at a school in Tower Hamlets. Students at the workshop learned how victims of these genocides were dehumanised by their persecutors because of their religion. The short and engaging session challenged students to consider how easy it is to become misinformed or to agree uncritically with prejudice towards those who are different.
In addition, in the north, RSI delegates and champions have engaged young people on their experiences of the visit to Srebrenica and what they learned by holding school assemblies or presentations at universities. RSI Champions such as Jerri Butler, Mashuda Sheikh and Simon Campbell-Skelling have also begun work with youth groups in Sunderland and Kirklees. Recent delegates on the programme have also included young people from the community organisation Youth Action and students from Bradford. Through supporting these outcomes RSI aims to support young people in learning about the importance of creating a cohesive society and empowering them to raise awareness in their own communities.
The educational visits programme will soon be complemented by teaching resources which will provide the opportunity for schools to bring the story of Srebrenica alive for pupils and to learn from it. Whilst genocide may seem far removed from the day-to-day experiences of young people, the conditions for genocide are often built on a culture where discrimination, exclusion and intolerance go unchallenged. The education packs seek to equip students with the skills and confidence to allow them to challenge this behaviour and to remove the essential foundations for extremism to thrive.
By reflecting on the terrible events which occurred in Bosnia July 1995, it is hoped the importance of tolerance and understanding among all communities will be learnt enabling us all to promote good citizenship and prevent hatred and discrimination.
For further information on any of this community action or to receive an education pack to use in your school or educational setting, please call us on +44 (0)121 285 0440 or send an email to [email protected].