CWWPP Children And Youth Presentation Cwwpp 2008 08

  • Published on

  • View

  • Download


CWWPP Children and Youth Presentation 2008


  • 1. Coalition for Work with Psychotrauma and Peace [email_address]


  • In Croatia
    • M. Drzica 12
    • 32000 Vukovar
    • +385-32-441975 (telephone and fax)
    • E-Mail[email_address]
  • In The Netherlands
    • Ds. S. Tjadenstraat C81
    • 9663 RD Nieuwe Pekela
    • +31-5976-45790 (telephone)
    • +31-5976-46319

3. Registration

  • In The Netherlands as a non-profit non-governmental organization ( stichting ) equivalent to 501(c)(3) status in the USA.
  • In Croatia as a foreign organization.


  • Education in the methods of psychological assistance, civil society, non-violent conflict transformation, human rights and related fields;
  • To give psychological and related medical assistance to groups and individuals as well as to give assistance in the areas indicated above;
  • To carry out activities related to the transformation, prevention and recovery from violent conflict;
  • To carry out research relevant to our work;
  • To carry out any other activities that will encourage and/or assist our work.

5. The CWWPP works using theStrategy of Complex Rehabilitation

  • Good assessment of the situation, including multiple and in-depth discussion with all groups and individuals involved.
  • After discussion, training in areas needed and desired.
  • Involvement of the community in making plans for further action.
  • Encouragement of the formation of local interest groups and organizations.
  • Work on reconciliation at a speed appropriate to the community .


  • Taking a long-term approach much longer than that usually taken (thus, not 6 months but 5-10 years).
  • Continuous evaluation of programs, not just at the end of a program.
  • Continuous adjustment of programs appropriate to the findings of the evaluation.
  • Continuous research into the points brought up by the program.

7. While these principles seem logical, they are not often applied in violent, post-violent and developing areas. 8. The Region in Which the CWWPP Works 9. 10. 11. History and Geography Before 1991

  • Culture 6,000 years old, including the NeolithicVu edolculture and the first calendar in Europe.
  • Northeast border of the Roman Empire.
  • Meeting point for many cultures:before 1991 more than 25 ethnic groups and more than 10 religious groups.
  • Important economic and cultural center .

12. Vukovar, 1608 13. Vukovar, About 1900 14. Vineyards Originally Planted by the Romans 15. Vu edol 16. The Vu edol Orion The Oldest Calendar in Europe and theVu edol Dove 17.

  • TheIndependent Croatian Republic (NDH)as was a part of the Axis Powers during the Second World War. There are still disputes among ethnic groups about the history of this period.
  • 1945-1991:Independent Communism under Josip Broz Tito: Brotherhood-Unity
    • Greatest welfare within the Communist world
    • High level of freedom
    • Relative freedom of speech
    • Suppression of ethnic differences:the concept of being Yugoslav.This was not totally accepted, and such phenomena of theCroatian Springof the 1970s took place.

18. The Most Recent War 19.

  • 1990:Croatian elections in April and May.The old Yugoslav constitution gave equality to all ethnic groups.In the new Croatian constitution, ethnic Croats were superior.At this point, discrimination against minorities began.
  • 1990-1991:Increasing polarization between Serbs and Croats.Villages and cities are barricaded.There is increasing ethnic violence.
  • 2 May, 1991:The Battle of Borovo Selo, the first major engagement of the war.
  • August, 1991-November, 1991:The destruction of Vukovar and continuing polarization of ethnic groups in other places in Croatia.


  • September, 1991:Osijek comes into Croat hands definitively.
  • November, 1991:Vukovar comes into Serb hands definitively.
  • January, 1992:International recognition of Croatia.
  • May, 1992:War starts in Bosnia-Herzegovina.


  • May, 1995:Operation Flash in Western Slavonia.
  • August, 1995:Operation Storm in Western and Southern areas.
  • August-October, 1995:Joint Croat-Bosniak push in Bosnia-Herzegovina.
  • November, 1995:Dayton Accords for Bosnia-Herzegovina and Erdut Agreement for Eastern Slavonia.
  • January, 1996-January, 1998:United Nations Transitional Administration for Eastern Slavonia, Baranya and Western Sirmium (UNTAES).
  • March-July, 1999:NATO bombing of Serbia in conjunction with Kosovo.

22. Current Problems of the Region 23. Some General Problems

  • Transitions.
    • Socialism to capitalism.
    • Totalitarianism to democracy (both relative terms).
    • Welfare to poverty.
    • Relative unity to ethnic and religious division.
    • Weak religion to strong and ethnically and politically connected religious feeling.
  • Human rights and discrimination against minorities.
  • Segregation:schools, caf s, medical care, bureaucracy, etc.:written law vs. practice.
  • The economic situation.
  • Landmines.
  • Cultural Revisionism.

24. Some Specific Problems

  • Civil Society and its lack of development.
  • Democratization.
  • Non-Violent Conflict Transformation.
  • Mental and Physical Health.
  • Reconciliation.
  • Politics local, national and international.
  • Local Media.
  • Interest by the outside world, in particular by (potential) donors and the external media.
  • The way that donors work.

25. Civil Society, Democratization and Non-Violent Conflict Transformation

  • Lack of development of civil society in previous regimes it was either from the state or considered dangerous.
  • Attitudes that those who work in civil society groups, particularly foreigners, are spies.
  • Strong competition between groups.
  • The word democratization has become a joke, as even most donors and international organizations dont know what it means.
  • Techniques of and attitudes toward non-violent conflict transformation unknown.
  • External visions of non-violent conflict transformation are not adapted to these cultures and are parachuted in.Thus, new visions are required.

26. Mental and Physical Health

  • These problems seem to be common in most similar areas .
  • The size and scope of the problem.
  • The high intensity of the trauma.
  • The lack of a sufficient number of professionals to deal with the problem.
  • The skills of professionals.
  • The problem of universal loss of various sorts.
  • The high level of mistreatment.


  • Denial.
  • Blocked mourning.
  • The lack of experience with and lack of availability of talk therapy and other modalities in society.
  • Inexperience in expressing feelings and in inter-personal and group communication in general.
  • Coping mechanisms that are inadequate to deal with the problems presented.
  • The lack of a sense of individual responsibility.
  • The lack of initiative.
  • The problems of addiction.
  • Taboos.


  • The specific context of males.
  • The role of fathers.
  • The transmission of trauma from the Second World War and earlier and later.
  • High levels of unemployment and the relationship of economics and trauma.
  • Return of people to their homes.
  • The multi-causality of the trauma.
  • Associated problems of physical health.
  • Identity.
  • The interaction between the problems.


  • The levels on which the problems are manifest:
    • Individual
    • Family
    • Group
    • Neighborhood
    • Community
    • Society
    • Region
    • Wider Region
    • Global

30. Reconciliation

  • The question of what the word means and if it has any meaning at all.
  • Political opposition.
  • Religious lip service and opposition.
  • Lack of understanding of the local situation by the international community.
  • Lack of knowledge, skills and attitudes by the NGO community and others.
  • Lack of funding.

31. Local, National and International Politics; The Local Media

  • Local politicians frequently express strong nationalism and support for nationalist groups and causes.They resist moves toward reconciliation.
  • National politicians are either directly nationalist or say one thing for domestic consumption and something else for the international world.
  • The international community has its own agenda formed in foreign capitals and not necessarily in conjunction with local needs.


  • There are high levels of corruption and self-interest at every level.
  • This all leads to political resistance to most of what is progressive in programs of assistance from all levels.
  • In particular, there is resistance to programs of grassroots and taproot peacebuilding and to public input, particularly by members of minorities.
  • In general, local and frequently national media follow the lead of the politicians.
  • Furthermore, the media encourage conflict in many cases.

33. Interest by the Outside World, in Particular by (Potential) Donors and the External Media

  • Interest by the outside world is extremely short-term and determined by the media, which moves to the next crisis quickly.
  • Most situations require long-term work.
  • Work must be sexy and show highly visible results.
  • Top-down work rather than a bottom-up inclusive approach is valued, and grassroots/taproot work is put down.
  • Programs are parachuted in rather than being adapted to local needs.
  • Most programs are thus ineffective.
  • Further, funding is leaving the Balkans as, according to the powers that be, the problems are solved.

34. The Specific Problemsof Children and Youth

  • Few relevant and valid studies the material presented here is from our experience in the field.
  • Direct and indirect (people close to and/or relevant to the person) psychological trauma from the war and post-war periods
  • Transmission of trauma up to at least several generations
  • Combined and/or total traumatization


  • The problems of parents, teachers and important others
    • Not having time for the children and youth
    • Transmitting the traumatization to the children and youth
  • Difficulty in passing through developmental stages
  • Segregation in education and recreation


  • Limited educational opportunities
  • High unemployment rates
  • Lack of relevant facilities for assistance
    • Overburdened governmental facilities
    • Lack of funding for NGOs from government or the international community
    • Thus, for example, there is no facility for the psychological assistance of youth in Vukovar

37. Some Specific Practical Problems for Youth

  • High levels of family violence
  • High levels of addiction, particularly to alcohol and prescription drugs
  • High levels of anxiety attacks
  • Lack of initiative
  • Behavior problems and low school performance

38. The Work of the CWWPP 39. Types of Programs

  • Direct assistance
  • Education
  • Being a Presence and Standing up for a Point of View
  • Writing and Publicity
  • For the Future:Research

40. Direct Assistanceto Children, Youth and Families

  • Counseling by professionals and particularly by lay counselors to individuals, families and groups.
  • Service given without regard to ethnicity, religion or group affiliation.
  • Service given without charge.
  • Inadequate capacity by ourselves or other NGOs.
  • This service should be given by state institutions rather than ourselves.

41. Education Local Education the Core Course

  • Directed at (potential) field workers.
  • Aims
    • Increase in capacity
    • Increase in professionalism
  • Adapted to people dealing with youth and youth themselves with the object of peer counseling.
  • Approximately 120 hours at 2 hours/week.
  • Highly participatory.
  • 3-16 participants per group.
  • Tested at the end of the course.
  • Certificate issued by the CWWPP.


  • The Core Course Includes
    • Communication
    • Work with groups
    • Psychology
    • Introduction to counseling
    • Civil Society
    • Nonviolent Conflict Transformation
    • Introduction to Human Rights.

43. Other Work

  • Provision of a voice that the issues that we are dealing with are important.
  • Provision of a voice that the region that we are working in is important.
  • Describing the work that we have done and the problems that we face in public forums.

44. Conclusions and Perspectives 45. Current Plans andWorks in Progress

  • We would like to extend the counseling work with children and youth and the work with families further, to set up a center or centers in relevant locations.
  • We would like to extend the work to villages, virtually all of which have no services for youth whatsoever.
  • We would like to provide additional peer counseling (training) programs.The barrier here, in addition to funding, is governmental resistance, despite the desires of teachers and pedagogues (guidance counselors) .


  • We would like to begin parenting seminars, which we feel are particularly important in the post-conflict situation.We have been encouraged in this by Bobbi Kendig, one of the founders of Cedar House, the first treatment program for abused children in California.
  • We would like to take the dialogue with government further, so that they would provide these services directly and/or finance them.While social workers and pedagogues support us, our efforts until now have not produced results.

47. Discussion and Conclusions 48.

  • We believe that current policies toward children and youth are highly dangerous for the local societies, for the Western Balkans and for the world as a whole.They are negating and neglecting thegeneration that will become productive and that will have the most to say in the near and middle future.
  • We fear further transmission of trauma that has had a significant effect in the causation of wars.We see such transmission occurring already.

49. Epilogue 50. Some Views of Vukovar 51. CWWPP Staff 52. A Partisan World War II memorial and its replacement by a modern fascist hero, the current father of the nation Franjo Tudjman 53. Memorial at the Mass Grave at Ov ara 54. 55. 56. 57. 58. 59. 60. 61. 62. 63. 64. No One is Normal Here 65. 66. Coalition for Work with Psychotrauma and Peace [email_address]


View more >