SEARCH FOR COMMON GROUND IN MACEDONIA, SKOPJE

Adresa: Albert Svajcer 6, 1000 Skopje, Makedonija
Telefon: ++389 2 3118 517, ++389 2 3118 322
E-mail: marko@sfcg.org.mk
Web adresa:

http://www.sfcg.org/programmes/macedonia/programmes_macedonia.html

Ciljevi/Misija

Our Mission

Our mission is to transform the way the world deals with conflict: away from adversarial approaches, toward cooperative solutions.

Although the world is overly polarized and violence is much too prevalent, we remain essentially optimistic. Our view is that, on the whole, history is moving in positive directions. Although some of the conflicts we are currently dealing with may seem intractable, there are successful examples of cooperative conflict resolution that we can look to for inspiration - such as in South Africa, where an unjust system was transformed through negotiations and an inclusive peace process.

"There is no conflict that cannot be resolved. Violent conflict is created and sustained by human beings, and it can be ended by human beings." Senator George Mitchell

"The opportunity for cooperation is there, even in our most vexing disputes, if we only bother to look for it." William Raspberry, Washington Post Columnist

Our Vision

Our vision is of a world in which:

Individuals, organisations, governments and societies respond to their differences in non-adversarial ways - where those differences stimulate social progress, rather than precipitate violence.
The predominant approach to conflict is to reach out to cooperate with those we disagree with - where reconciliation is considered the norm.
Our underlying respect for one another and our shared interests and concerns are not overwhelmed by our differing points of view.
In their everyday lives, human beings are safer and more secure.
Our goal is to make finding common ground the common thing.

Our Core Principles

Overview

Over the past 20 years, we've come to recognize underlying principles for dealing with conflict constructively. These are not principles that we've invented. Rather, they've been revealed in the process of doing our work, and their truth and validity have been tested. They are not unique to us - in fact some of them are widely used in the conflict resolution field as a whole.

We have identified five core principles, and our intention is to share them as widely as possible, in the hope that they might help to shift how people think about and deal with their differences.

Conflict is both normal and resolvable
Common Ground is not about compromise
Conflict can be transformed
Peace is a process
Humankind is interdependent

Aktivnosti/Projekti

In 1994, Search for Common Ground began work in Macedonia to strengthen interethnic relations and help prevent violence. In 1999, our efforts were put to the test when war erupted in neighboring Kosovo. Nearly 400,000 refugees poured across the border, intensifying ethnic tensions and making worse an already bad economy. Many observers have said that our projects made an important contribution to weathering the crisis. After the tensions subsided, Search for Common Ground Macedonia (SCGM) continued working toward cooperative solutions, resolving conflicts, preventing violence and expanding activities to the regional cooperation. Today, 10 years later, SCGM is focusing on media, education, arts & culture. We are planning to enter the second phase of the Bridges for the New Balkans, a regional interethnic media projects with print, television and radio broadcast components. Our objective for 2004-2006 is that Mozaik, a unique model of multilingual and multicultural pre-school education, be integrated formally into the Macedonian public education system. Additionally, we continue developing various outreach activities based on Nashe Maalo (Our Neighborhood), a nationally broadcasted television series for children. These activities include live theatre, puppet theatre, magazine, parent-teacher guide, music CD and knowledge quiz.

Active Projects in Macedonia

Bridges for the New Balkans: Regional Media Project - aims to promote the media, television, print media, and radio, as a means to illustrate the interdependence of the Balkans peoples while still recognizing their differences. This program spans Macedonia, Bulgaria, Albania, Greece, Montenegro, Serbia, and Kosovo.
Mozaik: Model for Multicultural Pre-school Education in Macedonia - to support Macedonian educational institutions in bridging the gap caused by linguistic, cultural and ethnic segregation in schools and kindergartens. Mozaik is a unique model of multilingual and multicultural pre-schooling in public kindergartens. During its first phase of implementation, the project included six groups of Macedonian- and Albanian-speaking children ages 3-7. More recently SCGM has reduced the number of groups but increased the diversity of participants by expanding the model to Serbian- and Turkish-speaking children.
Nashe Maalo: Television, Theatre and Outreach Projects - the first children's television program in Macedonia created to promote intercultural understanding, to encourage conflict prevention in a multicultural society, and to impart specific conflict-resolution skills that children can use in their everyday lives. This unique series, co-produced by Common Ground Productions and Search for Common Ground Macedonia, presents a timely opportunity to influence an entire generation of children in Macedonia in the direction of mutual tolerance and respect
The Balkans Forum brought together a diverse group of experts-academics, activists, policy makers, and practitioners-for sustained dialogue on U.S. policy in the Balkans. Each monthly session was organized around a brief presentation from one or two Balkan specialists followed by a roundtable discussion.
Conflict Resolution in Kosovo: Following the tragedy of 1999 in Kosovo, each person had his or her own story to tell. Seven young filmmakers, two Kosovar Albanians, two Macedonians, one Macedonian Albanian, one Roma (Gypsy), and one Serb, completed six separate documentaries, depicting the experience of the recent war in Kosovo from their individual ethnic and cultural perspectives. This project exposed members of Kosovo society to alternative viewpoints, inspired the process of constructive community dialogue, and laid the foundation for a more peaceful society by providing the people of Kosovo with new models of conflict resolution. The dialogue that these films generated proved to be an extremely effective tool for promoting discussions about the tragedy in Kosovo. The project was completed in 2000.
Conflict Resolution Games:As a tool designed to help kids identify what conflict is, how conflicts grow, and how conflicts can be resolved, the Conflict Resolution Games Project, promoted by SCGM in partnership with the Ethnic Conflict Resolution Project, operated in nearly 100 schools and involved a yearlong curriculum of games. The goal was that Macedonia would have resources and a strategy to implement an effective conflict resolution program in their educational system.