Action for Nonviolence and Peacebuilding

Contact Information

Areas of Expertise

Action for Nonviolence and Peacebuilding has expertise in a range of areas, including:

Main Aims and Objectives

Action for Nonviolence and Peacebuilding is a multi-ethnic peace organization, founded in 2002 in order to achieve permanent and stable peace in Kosovo and the Balkans through the promotion of democratic values, the protection of human rights and the development of civil society.

Upholding the Principles of Conflict Transformation

ANP conducts trainings and workshops in the field of peace education, peacebuilding, dealing with the past and public policies by using techniques of non-violent conflict transformation. ANP also works on communication, prejudices, stereotypes, joint-decision making and understanding of conflict, considering conflict as a potential power for change.

Where and with Whom?

Being embedded in an multi-ethnic environment in the Gjilan/Gnjilane region ANP is working mainly with youth from diverse communities. Furthermore the organization reaches out to all parts of Kosovo by implementing a training for dealing with the past. Considering peace education, the organization is working close with teachers and directors of local schools. Through long-term partnerships with peace organizations from the region, ANP is also implementing cross-border peace projects.

Main Activities in the Field of Conflict Transformation

Dealing with the Past in Kosovo

Since 2014 ANP has been implementing the project “Dealing with the Past in Kosovo” jointly with partner organization KURVE Wustrow and funded by the German Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development BMZ.

Public discussion in Kosovo society is marked by silence or ethnocentric narratives when addressing the violent times beginning in 1989, accumulating in the war of 1999 and ending in the violent outburst 2004. As of today the number of Missing Persons is about 1,700, which places a heavy burden on reconciliation processes. Action for Nonviolence and Peacebuilding (ANP) is working jointly with KURVE Wustrow for a change in the culture of remembrance. People from all over Kosovo get empowered to share their stories and to present them to a wider public.

In October 2014, 16 participants started a joint process in Ulqin/Ulcinj, Montenegro to share their stories and to hear what happened to members of other communities. The mutual understanding and recognizing of suffering and pain is a process full of empathy, which reduces prejudices and prevents from easy judgements. ANP successfully created the safe space where the participants could open up and speak freely about the hard time they went through.

Art is a good form for expressing difficult feelings and mixed emotions. The participants started to paint pictures about their life in the past and the difficulties, challenges and losses they had to face. The pictures are full of expression, strength and offer a deep view inside the hearts and minds of their authors.

  1. Expressing Life Stories through Art – In addition to the paintings the participants started to write their life stories with the help of ANP trainers. This process was initiated in the first training session and intensified in the following month. In the second training session in February 2015 the participants painted pictures showing their desired future. Together with the pictures from the first training they form a Circle of Memory including past, present and future.
  2. Group Dealing with the Past in Kosovo – To support the demanding and painful process of remembering the darkest time in their lives, ANP conducted a training for Stress Management and Resilience in April 2015. Furthermore the ANP team acted as mentors and stayed in close contact with the participants to give support and relief during their writing. During the course of the project, trustful and strong relationships have been built up among the participants, as well as between them and the ANP trainer team.
  3. Third Training on Dealing with the Past in Durres – At the end of April 2015 the collected pictures showing past and future were presented in the exhibition “Circle of Memory” in the National Library of Pristina. A lot of curious visitors had the chance to see the pictures and to discuss with the participants and ANP team about this Dealing with the Past approach.

Schools – The Peace Promoters

Since 2013 ANP has been implementing the project “Schools – The Peace Promoters” with in cooperation with the Mennonite Central Committee (MCC) in Gjilan/Gnjilane region. Working in schools with teachers and students, ANP is giving a valuable input to Peace Education in Kosovo by bridging the divide between Serbian and Albanian schools.

ANP has a long-standing history of working in Peace Education with support of our partner MCC. Over the past years successful projects have been implemented like “Stop Violence in Schools”, “Let’s Build Bridges”, “Be Active, Be Productive” and “Follow Me.” As a result ANP has well established relationships with the local schools in Gjilan/Gnjilane region and with teachers, directors, Directorate of Education, parents and youth.

In coordination with the Directorate for Education ANP, trainers implemented a 6 day training session on non-violent conflict transformation with a multiethnic group of teachers from Gjilan/Gnjilane, Novo Brdo/Novobërdë and Partesh/Parteš municipalities. Due to division in society young teachers don’t have contact with colleagues from the other community. ANP considers teachers as important persons for the development of young children as they influence their behavior, values and attitudes over a long period of time.

The aim is to unite teachers in a group process to reduce prejudices and to foster tolerance and the acceptance of differences, which will then reach their pupils through their daily work. Furthermore the ANP trainer team is visiting schools to work directly with children. In one-day workshops the kids are working on the following questions:

  1. What is Peace in the School?
  2. What is Peace in the Community?
  3. What is Peace in the World?
  4. What means Peace for my Life?
  5. Peace in the Community
  6. What is Peace in the Community?

In small groups the pupils do brainstorming and then by the means of art express their ideas and opinions on the meaning of peace in different parts of their life. During this work the pupils are engaged in discussions and have the space to exchange their ideas – a possibility that is rare in their normal school days. The workshops in 2015 were implemented in 6 Albanian and 2 Serbian schools, about 170 children participated and actively contributed to peace in schools.

On 1st of June 2015 ANP proudly presented the collected peace paintings from the children in the exhibition “WE WANT PEACE” in the City Gallery of Gjilan/Gnjilane. The exhibition was visited by pupils, parents and teachers and provided the chance for them to see pictures made by children from diverse communities. Recognizing that peace is a common goal for all children, was a valuable insight for the visitors.

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