developed in collaboration with
Making Peace: Schools Programme
The Making Peace: Schools Programme is an educational programme based on a book by the Making Peace Project, “Making Peace: A Refugee’s Story” about Smajo Beso’s life in Bosnia during the war and his journey to the UK in 1994 as a nine year old refugee.
The aim of the project is to promote peace by exposing primary school students to a real life story from a refugee in order to cultivate compassion and empathy through humanising a subject that is too often discussed in clinical, abstract terms.
The learner’s journey will include writing and listening tasks, interactive activities and critical thinking discussions, revealing to them, not just the external facts of a refugee’s experience, but how that experience feels for a refugee.
The educational programme comprises 3 parts;
Part A: Smajo’s Story: A Journey to Peace
Through a series of five workshops, trained educators will take learners through Smajo Bešo’s story of living through the Bosnian War and his journey to the UK as a refugee. They will explore the power of storytelling, the historical context of the Bosnian war, and an introduction to concepts such as ‘what is home?’, ‘why do people leave their homes?’ and ‘can good people do bad things’. Through listening to Smajo’s Story learners will be able to reflect on their own lives and experiences to write their own stories in the workbooks. In the final session of Part A, learners will
have the opportunity to meet Smajo in person and discuss what they’ve learned.
Part B: Peace in Action
Following the workshops, students are invited to reflect on what they have learnt in reference to the South Africa’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission in order to develop a school project.
Part C: Peace is Personal
The culmination of the programme output and ‘graduation’ for students involved as peacemakers in the form of a peace conference to include student led presentations, other peace maker workshops/ presentations etc.
The current developed programme is aimed at Year 6 pupils (10 to 11 year olds). This is a crucial age when children are starting to question the world beyond their own experience, and accurate information about complex issues becomes more important than ever. However, the project has the scope to be further developed to suit a wide range of student age groups.