Recommendations of Peace Office Outpost Sarajevo
The first recommendation is about Bosnia and Herzegovina: In this report you can read that the return of a normal live, on all levels of the Bosnian society, is starting only now, and it's returning very slowly. To stop the aid and cooperation will have devastating consequences for Bosnia and Herzegovina on the sort term and on the long run. Peace Office Outpost will always be connected and will try to support Sarajevo.
So the first recommendation is to all organizations, groups, people, countries and all those who have been working with humanitarian work to CONTINU to give aid and offer cooperation to countries and regions where war and madness recently was the main influence, so the contacts that are build up will be maintained the way people maintain friendship.
The second recommendation is more like a general suggestion but pointed at social and cultural organizations: to spend a little of their time and a little of their money to support global consciousness. These little efforts can create an enormous input in regions like Bosnia and Herzegovina, who are pulled back because of war.
This approach will also increase the consciousness of the audience. It could help the Dutch society, for example, to not all together support bombs, but to support all together, the intelligence of the civilization, or at least to evoke the questions 'how things could be different'.
The next recommendation is pointed at the media: It could be really exiting to fill the media with critical information, not only considering the Balkans but mainly considering the society where the media is sold or shown. In that case newspapers and TV would be less filled with replay and stereotypes, but much more with background information. To give an example: Recently a diplomat said that a dictator can not loose the elections. Of course it was said about Milosevic, who in the Dutch media was described as a little Hitler. The fact that finally all Serbs were equalized with the metaphoric image of it's leader made that the Dutch media reported very superficial about the world (media) opinion.
The next recommendation points at the (inter)national funds and governments: In general it is accepted to support projects financially. POO though, works as a project which contains a variety of practical projects, who create a connection with the aim to stimulate the general understanding between people. This happens by organizing many en very diverse personal meetings. For these separate projects we can find funds, but for the Office of POO and the costs to maintain that office, there is no money, even if these costs are very modest. (The Peace Office Eindhoven has a very similar problem). The argument is that structural costs are not sponsored, you must find the solution in conformity with the rules of the market. But separate projects will be funded. In other words: 'we think what you do is good and we will support that, but the way you get to the point to do these good things, is a problem that has to be solved by yourself. '
According to the philosophy of POO, things should be the other way around. Organizations and groups who create this birthplace, this stream of good and practical activities, should be supported to continue their work. The activities itself, the products, should more find their own way, so also find their way to become possible financially, to emerge from a good idea into a good and possible idea. And we think that is pretty well possible in the current economical situation.
This does not only include groups and organizations from the peace-movement, the global consciousness, the international cooperation or humanitarian development organizations. Also cultural and (sport) clubs should be seen, and supported, with the principal 'with the most attention pointed at the source'.
In this case '(inter)national funds' means also funds inside companies that are to be used for political education, global consciousness, democratization, (cultural) integration, independent journalism, art, marketing, PR and so on.
The last and warm recommendation is for those people who would like to see the world with their own eyes and in full glory; Why don't you visit Sarajevo the upcoming year. In September there is a great film festival. In the summer there are nice music and dance festivals in the center of the old town, all the time there is something going on. The town awaits the visitors, in between the magnificent mountains. You could ski, walk, enjoy.
From this summer we could probably offer you a guestroom on the most perfect location. To stay away because of war tourism is a quite understandable, but fear for peace tourism is not necessary. Besides that, contemporary Sarajevo is one of the safest town in the northern hemisphere. You will always see, as you have done before when traveling, that things turn out to be a little different and with more nuances, as you have been thinking before.
The future of POO
POO still has some obligations in Bosnia and Herzegovina which it will proceed. Specially the car wreck project needs special attention to fulfil it's aims before the end of the summer of 2001, and the reconstruction of the guesthouse, which is made possible with a credit without interest through POO, will be under supervision of POO.
POO will continue to invite guests to visit Bosnia and Herzegovina and Sarajevo and it will continue to cooperate with Kolektiv.
As mentioned in this report, POO grew into a project formula that could take place anywhere. The upcoming year POO will work in the main office in Eindhoven, Netherlands, and prepare a new outpost location. There are possibilities to start a new office in other parts of Former Yugoslavia, in parts of the Former Soviet Union or to set up a mobile office that will have a critical look at the globalization process that is currently going on.
The members of the newsletter will be informed about that and announcements will be made on the home page of POO.
POO will also try to set up a small digital 'turbostation', so at follow up projects of POO, it will be even better and more attractive to use the internet.
Finally POO will support the Main office to find a new accommodation, some new funds, new voluntarily workers, new ideas and so on, after having asked the main office very much the last three years.