We are all dreamers
Action for Peace #19
In the framework of its activities in the divided city of Mitrovica, GAIA Kosovo organized workshops as actions for peace in cooperation with schools from both sides of the city. The workshops involved young children and teenagers in creating tea bags that were given for free to people around the city. Tea bags created in the south were displayed in the north and vice-versa. Each bag contained a small message (“your greatest desire”) written by the children of Mitrovica.
Children learned new skills, their curiosity toward their city was enhanced. Their sense of responsibility has been increased as their task consists in creating and giving “gifts” for other unknown people. The creation of tea bags has been necessarily accompanied by a reflection on the situation of Mitrovica. GAIA Kosovo hopes by these action they have deconstructed some stereotypes related to ethnic conflict. Finally, they hope this improved the image of the opposite side of the city in the imagination of the children, whose, for most of them never crossed the bridge. They believe those kinds of action can foster contacts between the different communities of Mitrovica.
For this project, they were working with different partners, including NGO from North Mitrovica (Local Youth Council “LEGA”, translators, etc…).
The workshops started on the 12th of November in southern schools and finished on December 20. GAIA was collaborating with two schools in the south of Mitrovica (one workshop of two hours for each school) and intend to do the same in the north of Mitrovica. The work was divided in different phases: the first one concerned the creation of tea bags. Teenagers (13-14 years old) were sewing those with some help. During these workshop, they usually tried to engage a reflection about the importance to give for free for someone unknown, or clichés associated with the other side of the city.
The second phase was realized by younger children (8-9 years old). They were asked to fill the bags with tea and write their greatest desire on a small paper that was placed inside the tea bag after. Their message was translated in both language (Albanian and Serbian). The last phase was about the hanging of tea bags in public spaces (bus stations, coffee places, museum, etc…).