From July 6 to July 9, as many as six BRAVO volunteers took part in the Project Common Bond organized by Tuesday’s Children. This year, the project was held through ZOOM and Howspace platforms and brought together young people from 12 countries: Afghanistan, Belgium, Bosnia and Herzegovina, India, Lebanon, Nigeria, Northern Ireland, Palestine, Pakistan, Spain, Uganda, and the USA.
As you can see, Project COMMON BOND is a four-day event that brings young people from all around the world together who have a common bond, i.e. who have lost a close relative to terrorism, violent extremism, or war.
Participants had the chance to attend diverse groups during the week, where they explored cultural and global concerns, as well as participate in a week-long session on storytelling.
In addition to the above, participants had the opportunity to discuss joy, courage, grace and perseverance, and through the story of the Tariq Kamisha Foundation, 9/11 event and the loss of loved ones from Covid-19 understand that the above four words are the key to peacebuilding.
The final activity of the project was writing a poem, where all participants in the project showed enviable skills and acquired knowledge.
The project concluded with a lecture and Q&A session by Mr. Raffi Gregorian, the Deputy to the Under-Secretary-General and Director from the United Nations Office of Counter-Terrorism. Mr. Gregorian has led two multinational missions in Bosnia and Herzegovina, as well as serving in the military in both BiH and Kosovo. In Bosnia and Herzegovina, he served as Principal Deputy High Representative and, for a while, Acting High Representative, as well as Supervisor of the Brčko District.
All of these activities improved interpersonal communication and conflict resolution abilities while also instilling dignity, empathy, and respect in participants. Project COMMON BOND participants have shown that there are no limits to what they can do.
The participants not only had a fantastic week, full of joy, happiness, and memories, but they also acquired a great amount of useful knowledge and set of skills that they may apply to their personal lives and NGOs. Participants’ opinions on the project are unanimous: positive culture shock, great facilitators and activities, broadening horizons, open mind and new wonderful friendships.