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Stopping wars – that is a matter for politics. But civil society organizations and foundations are still needed in order to create that particular state of mind, that disposition for benevolence, and justice.

Without these, no lasting peace can be achieved.

In this multimedia reportage we introduce you to people who commit themselves to a peaceful society in very different ways.

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Many Syrian refugees in Jordan live in precarious circumstances. A project helps them come to terms with the traumatic experiences of war by expressing their feelings through capoeira.

The organization "Capoeira4Refugees" was founded by a German-Syrian and trains children and young people in refugee camps and communities that house people from Jordan's war-torn neighbor, Syria.

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Capoeira gives the young people something to do. It’s a way to overcome their boredom, and is an outlet for coming to terms with their traumatic war experiences.

In addition, the sport is often the only leisure activity available to these Syrian children.

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Every Wednesday, Daniel and his co-trainer Hussein drive to Zarqa, where around 50,000 Syrian refugees live. Here they train about thirty children between the ages of seven and 17.

"Many of the children are angry and they don’t know why," says Daniel. “We want to give them a platform to express themselves.”

In cultures where men don’t cry or show their feelings, capoeira can be a way of expressing those feelings without fear of embarrassment.

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Capoeira4Refugees is currently working on establishing long-term projects. One of the aims is to teach talented young people how to be capoeira trainers themselves.

"Children need something constant in their lives," says Martinez. "So that they become physically and mentally healthy adults."

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Questions of guilt and responsibility remain unanswered, attitudes are stuck in the past.

Participants on a study trip to Serbia look for answers – and a common memory.

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As a 17-year-old in 1992, he was used as a human shield on the front by Serb soldiers. His younger brother was executed right next to him. Duratović lost 47 of his family members during the Yugoslav wars of the 1990s.

After the war ended, Duratović helped to rebuild his home village and locate mass graves, and buried hundreds of his compatriots in cemeteries. He now wants to erect a monument in Prijedor to the children killed in the war.

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Since 2010, Duratovic has been a member of Memory Lab, a network for people who
are involved in memory work, mutual understanding, and reconciliation. He and other participants visit places of of remembrance of the Yugoslav wars and exchange experiences about historical traumas in other regions.

Indeed, he credits the network for shaping his attitude towards the Yugoslav war in the first place. "Here I met Serbs who extended their hands in friendship."

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Click on the picture to get a short glance at the project:

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Everyday life in Israel is shaped by segregation, mistrust, and recurring violence. Peace is possible only if Jewish and Arab fellow citizens meet face to face, a fact that has long been recognized by the organizers at Givat Haviva.

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Women are an important part of this. They meet at the campus to for example work on their leadership skills. For Givat Haviva, they are the links to the female citizens in their respective communities.

Givat Haviva developed a pilot project that aims to get more Arab women into work. As a side effect, a second income lifts families above the poverty line. At the moment, every second Arab family lives below it.

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Muhammad Darawshe was Richard von Weizsäcker Fellow of the Robert Bosch Academy in 2016 and is the Director of Planning, Equality and Shared Society at Givat Haviva. He explains what needs to be done for Jews and Arabs to live together peacefully in Israel.

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Click on the picture to learn more:

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Read more about the topic peace and the projects showcased here in our current magazin.

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Also in this edition:

An essay by Germany’s Foreign Minister

A theatrical encounter for Ukrainians and Russians

When female peace activists need help

Read the magazine onscreen
The magazine as PDF

Rbm21 en einzelseiten gesamt2
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David Harland has been the Director of the Centre for Humanitarian Dialogue (CHD) in Geneva since 2011. The private organization mediates in armed conflicts.

The mediators at the centre are called upon to assist by the belligerents or they approach them on their own accord if they believe a conflict is ready for negotiation.

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The conflict in the east of the country has all but vanished from headlines worldwide. Yet the people in Ukraine need the attention of the West to return to a life of peaceful coexistence.

A training program for German representatives from politics, business, and civil society is helping to establish contacts within the country.

In September 2016, 15 participants travelled to Kiew to deepen their knowledge of Ukraine and advance their own projects.

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Sarah Reinke is one of the participants. She is head of the Berlin office of the human rights organisation Society.

She has discovered that the widely held view of Ukraine as a divided country is actually inaccurate. "Ukraine is a hybrid society. Some people look towards Moscow while others adopt more of a European lifestyle."

And it's exactly this sort of knowledge about conditions in the country that is crucial for Reinke in setting up a human rights organisation.

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People of the post-war generations from different countries learn something about the conflicts in other countries and are inspired to think about their own wartorn past.

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Chapter 1 PEACE

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Chapter 2 Capoeira4Refugees

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Chapter 3 Memory Lab

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Chapter 4 Givat Haviva

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Chapter 5 Read the Magazine

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  • Multimedia reportage for the Robert Bosch Stiftung Magazine, #21, january 2017
    A PDF version can be downloaded from
    Robert Bosch Stiftung GmbH, Heidehofstraße 31, 70184 Stuttgart,
    Chief Executive Officers:
    Uta-Micaela Dürig, Prof. Dr. Joachim Rogall
    Stefan Schott, Head of Communication
    Editorial team: Julia Rommel (editor-in-chief), Selina Gerlach, Eva Wolfangel, Alexandra Wolters, Marina Kunert (Pageflow)
    Texts in the magazine about the projects mentioned here:
    Theresa Breuer, Agnes Fazekas, Julia Rommel, Eva Wolfangel, Alexandra Wolters

    Credits: C3, Cedric Widmer, David Ausserhofer, Eva Wolfangel, Global Arts Corps, Jonas Opperskalski, Julia Rommel, Marko Risovic, Nadia Bseiso, Robert Bosch Stiftung, Sergey Nivens, Ucci Shtangret

    Impressum Robert Bosch Stiftung Datenschutz