Living and promoting activism in a region often related to conflicts due to its turbulent recent past, as well as witnessing consequences of war decades after it happened, help us understand why peace should by no means be perceived as utopia, but a crucial human right for well-being and prosperous future of the new generations.
This is why we, representatives of South East European Youth Network (SEEYN), together with our friends from the IVS movement, value cooperation for reaching what we commonly believe in: a future in which a conflict is a challenge offering an opportunity to learn, and not a chance to create hierarchy, decide on priorities in an arbitrary way, and endanger life. This common belief influenced the recognition of community in the processes of reconciliation, especially through the involvement of youth. Yes, we are aware that the politics, media manipulation, and other actors make it hard for you to become motivated and get engaged. However, we are also aware of the number of people who would rather live in peace within their community and would like to feel safe and welcomed when traveling. Let’s ensure this through our common responsibility!
Have you dared to volunteer? Only a few things make us happier than realizing the consequences of what volunteering did for the reconciliation processes in various parts of the world. This is why we should never forget the power of volunteering, and why we, the members of IVS, want to emphasize the importance and visibility of volunteers and their activities, which have, step by step, created important changes in the areas torn by conflicts.
To conclude, we invite you to become aware that you do have your own power in the place or in the region you live in, and that peace can be achieved through international cooperation, but also by sincere relationships with your neighbours of different nationality, by assertive tone, non-violent behaviours and attempts to understand what you don’t know without prejudice.