Peace Academy Foundation

Contact Information

Areas of Expertise

The Peace Academy Foundation has expertise in a range of areas, including:

Main Aims and Objectives

The Peace Academy Foundation sees peacebuilding as increasing the capacities of people and institutions to manage diversities through conflict transformation, and avoiding structural violence by investigating and analyzing the causes of war, opening perspectives and (re)establishing interrupted and destroyed relationships among people, and between ethnic groups, of the former-Yugoslavia. In this regard, the work of PAF is interdisciplinary and includes a number of areas of engagement such as culture, identity, ethnicity, religion, politics, nation building, gender, marginalized groups, etc.

Upholding the Principles of Conflict Transformation

PAF has worked in accordance with the Principles of Conflict Transformation from its very foundation. Its main documents (Statute, Strategic Plan, aims of projects, etc) are similar to the Principles.PAF’s mission is to help construct and affirm a culture of peace in all social spheres through the exchange of theoretical and practical knowledge, skills and experiences; the development of existing, and the creation of new theoretical models, for peace work; education for everyone who is active or wishes to be active in the field of peace work; and fostering connections between actors relevant for peacebuilding and promotion of peace work.

PAF’s work is based upon the following values:

  • Appreciating diversities – PAF empowers and supports cooperation between different social groups engaged in peacebuilding;
  • Commitment to dialogue – PAF supports and encourages the exchange of ideas, and constructive critique of existing theories and practices of peacebuilding;
  • Readiness to learn and change ourselves – PAF’s work is a process in which we all participate and make decisions on an equal basis;
  • Linking academia with activism – PAF is a space for the exchange of different perspectives and approach, not a competitive space;
  • Nonviolence and a culture of peace – the ultimate principles of PAF’s work and its ultimate goal;
  • Political aspects – PAF sees peace work as a mode of political and civic activism, and a necessary condition for creating positive social change.

Where and with Whom

The PAF is located in Sarajevo and registered as a foundation in Bosnia and Herzegovina. However, its area of engagement also includes the states which emerged after the dissolution of the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia. Currently, PAF has no formal partnership with its founding organizations: the Mennonite Central Committee, the Center for Non-violent Action, the Nansen Dialogue Center, and TERCA; yet they keep supporting its work.PAF has established cooperation with a number of organizations from the region: Center for Peace Studies, Croatia, Action for Nonviolence and Peace, Kosovo, Peace Action, Macedonia and Center for War Trauma, Serbia.

PAF is a member of the Network for Peacebulding (BiH) and the network of the Anna Lindh Foundation.

PAF will continue to undertake activities aiming to establish regional partnership with key organizations in the peacebuilding field through strategic and program/project cooperation (including policy development).

Main Activities in the Field of Conflict Transformation

Post-Yugoslav Peace Academy (PYPA)

The program named the Post-Yugoslav Peace Academy (PYPA) was created in 2007 as a consequence of experience-based shared insights of four organizations working in the field of reconciliation and peacebuilding in the region: the Mennonite Central Committee, Sarajevo, the Centre for Non-violent Action, Sarajevo/Belgrade, the Nansen Dialogue Center, Sarajevo and TERCA, Sarajevo.PYPA was conceived to address a number of challenges which practitioners in the field have been facing throughout the region: education for peacebuilding practitioners is insufficient in terms of providing them with theoretical foundations and reflexive tools; immense theoretical production in the field has been circulating in academic circles and has not been communicated to practitioners; and cooperation among practitioners within the states and in the region is very limited and mainly donor-driven.

In September 2010, to ensure long-term sustainability of the PYPA, the Peace Academy Foundation was established as a separate and legally-registered organization.

Through a set of activities implemented since 2007, PYPA/PAF achieved the following:

  • Four 10-day Summer Academies involving more than 210 peacebuilding actors, NGO activists, theoreticians, journalists and others from the region and beyond;
  • 12 courses with unique curricula on peacebuilding that combine activist and academic approaches in peacebuilding delivered by 14 renowned instructors from the region and beyond;
  • More than 100 essays written by participants and published as a final product of Summer Academies, which enriched locally-produced peacebuilding literature in the region;
  • A unique online platform was created based on the Moodle software serving as effective, economical and easy channel for communication and exchange of information between peacebuilding actors;
  • Newsletters on PYPA-related issues have been disseminated by e-mail and internet.
  • From this year, PAF has started with book-publishing and wants to publish peacebuilding literature. PAF has published one book thus far – “The Little Book of Strategic Peacebuilding” by Lisa Shirch.

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