Smajo Beso

Our Mission

We believe that peace is personal. 
 

The building blocks of peace are the minds of individual people: our dreams, our emotions, our relationships, and our values. When individuals are properly connected to themselves, to each other, and to history, peace is an inevitable consequence.

 

We want to replace faceless statistics and numbers with real human experience. 

To understand why the Bosnian genocide matters, it is necessary to understand the impact it had on the lives of individual Bosnian people - in the same way that the number ‘six million’ tells us the scale of the Holocaust, but the diary of Anne Frank tells us why that number matters. 

And just as South Africa’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission helped to create a foundation for peace through the telling of stories after the end of apartheid, we hope that sharing the truth of Bosnians can make an enormous contribution to the promotion of peace all over the world.

 

That is why the Bosnian Genocide Educational Trust will be the repository for the stories of individual Bosnians, particularly those who came to the UK as refugees, and aims to be the cornerstone of all future research, educational and creative material on the subject. 

Our hope is that by hearing the stories of those who lived through the war in Bosnia, those we reach will make those stories a part of their own life stories, and will be inspired to perform acts of peace that make a war like Bosnia’s less likely in the future. 

We want to provide future generations with an invaluable resource so that this time the phrase ‘never again’ is not just an empty platitude but a statement of fact.

 

Just as peace is built on a foundation of collaboration and teamwork, the Bosnian Genocide Educational Trust could not have been established without the tireless support and efforts of a diverse and passionate group of people. 

Faith leaders from the Jewish, Christian and Muslim communities, activists, journalists, political leaders, friends and family members have all played an indispensable role in creating the Trust. 

 

We are extremely grateful to all of those who have contributed to this work of peace.

“You do not have to be me in order for us to fight alongside each other. I do not have to be you to recognize that our wars are the same. What we must do is commit ourselves to some future that can include each other and to work toward that future with the particular strengths of our individual identities. And in order for us to do this, we must allow each other our differences at the same time as we recognize our sameness.”


Audre Lorde, Sister Outsider: Essays and Speeches​