( Special Correspondent – Bosnia & Herzegovina) – The Post-Conflict Research Center (PCRC) had the unique opportunity to present its work and activities at the 28th session of the local and regional authorities at the Council of Europe in Strasbourg last week. PCRC is the only BiH organization ever given the chance to participate in the diversity challenge competition which unites the five best European projects concerning diversity. Apart from BiH, Germany, France, Spain and Portugal also took part in the competition.
The general director of P-CRC, Velma Saric, says that this project is the Council’s way of promoting a new form of governance and different societies – governance based on diversity used as an advantage and richness of a country.
“The advantages and richness of diversity are recognized as a source of competitive advantage for various business subjects, organizations and societies if it is handled in an inclusive manner”, says Saric.
“This is a project of successful inclusion of people with different cultural (ethnic, religious, and language) backgrounds. Moreover, it is an important tool in designing innovative products, services, policies, projects and initiatives. The projects in this competition were supposed to illustrate how cultural diversity is successfully used in businesses, organizations and societies”, added Velma.
At the ceremony held at the Council of Europe, Mr. Jean-Claude Frecon, president of local and regional authorities pointed out that the best and most creative projects from Europe were invited to take part in this gathering. He greeted the director of P-CRC and praised her efforts in building sustainable peace in BiH.
“In the Council of Europe we are aware of the importance of sustainable peace in BiH and we therefore unconditionally support your efforts in educating young people through your project Ordinary Heroes”, encouragingly said Mr. Jean-Claude.
The ceremony included the screening of P-CRC’s video demonstrating its diversity in its project Ordinary Heroes. Young people from all around the world gathered around PCRC’s volunteering program took part in the video.
Velma underlined that recognition by Europe’s leading organizations is another success of her team. “It is a great feeling to be part of the European family and hear the President describe P-CRC as one of the top five in Europe. I had a clear feeling of belonging to Europe and its support for all our efforts”, says Velma.
Velma reminded us that this is the third time her organization has been awarded on a large scale political level. “In 2010, we were awarded for our project Ordinary Heroes by the US State Department, that is to say the Secretary of State Hillary Clinton herself. At the end of last year, at the 6th UN Summit held in Indonesia we were awarded first place among 630 applicant projects. The award was presented to us by the UN General Secretary.”
Saric says that it is great to be awarded on European soil after all. “It is an incentive to keep working harder and better. I also hope that this will motivate and inspire young people to realize that making a change is possible and that hard work and dedication are recognized worldwide.”
With a smile Velma adds that she hopes that one day Bosnia too will recognize its young people’s creativity. “I hope that brighter days are coming for young people. I want to tell them to fight for their rights, work hard and educate themselves, because that is the only way to make systematic changes in BiH.”