If you are interested in applying for an internship with PCRC, email us at PCRCinternships@gmail.com. Please include your CV.

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Screen Shot 2015-05-01 at 9.00.08 AMMy name is Vedran Vojinovic, I was born in Sarajevo where I completed my English language and literature BA at the Faculty of Philosophy on University of Sarajevo. Working with various NGOs and international organizations over the years has enabled me to acquire extensive knowledge of Bosnian and regional social structures and given me insight into challenges and issues people undergo in post-conflict societies such as ours.

Dzevad SaracDževad Sarač was born in 1991 in Bosnia and Herzegovina. He graduated from the Grammar School in Donji Vakuf in 2010 and then from the University of Sarajevo, Faculty of Philosophy, in 2013. He holds an undergraduate BA degree in the English language and literature. He is currently a student of the final year of postgraduate studies at the Faculty of Political Science in Sarajevo, obtaining his degree in Politics, International Relations and Diplomacy.  Dževad holds a certificate as the best speaker in Ex Yugoslav countries given at the international competition  „Provide a Good Reason for Ex Yugoslav Countries in the EU”. He has been a member of the Debating Association of Bosnia and Herzegovina since 2006. Dževad is an English teacher at the Association for Language and Culture “Linguists”.

Dževad’s Internship Testimony

As a student of the politics, I was very interested in working for an NGO that had to do with research in the field of post conflict societies. I came to the PCRC and really liked the international working environment as well as to work with very talented, innovative and young professionals in different fields. I was mostly translating during my internship at the PCRC. I translated a conference organised by the  Institute for War & Peace Reporting (IWPR) and the PCRC entitled, “Hague Tribunal: Truth, Justice… and Reconciliation too?”. I helped translating for the Ordinary Heroes’ cover for AlJazeera. My interests are focused on security and peace building as well as transitional justice and working at the PCRC was very interesting because it helped my own development when it comes to these areas. My translations were published on the official blog of the PCRC.

GRGeorge is a student of Economics and International Studies with the Open University in the UK. His primary interests lie in economic problems and solutions in development challenges. His work with the P-CRC has involved writing and research on the subject of Bosnia’s 2014 civil unrest, and editing of fellow colleagues’ work. George’s previous employment within the provision of special education has led to a strong interest in this area also.

George’s Internship Testimony

I spent two months working as an intern with the P-CRC. My duties mainly involved editing the work of my colleagues, working on my own articles, and attending various activities organised for us by the P-CRC such as visits to other NGOs, film screenings, conferences etc.

The diversity of interests held by colleagues made the task of editing highly informative and interesting. This diversity provided insight in to many aspects of Bosnia and Herzegovina outside of my own sphere of interest, providing a deeper understanding of the country, its people, and its future. This diversity is enabled by the flexible approach taken with regard to interns and the work they carry out at the P-CRC, where the freedom to pursue one’s own interests is both provided and encouraged. It was also very interesting to gain an understanding of NGOs more generally, the functions they perform, how they work alongside one another, and the various roles within them that may provide future employment opportunities.

I undertook my internship alongside full-time study with the Open University. Both my studies and work with P-CRC were greatly enhanced by one another, as I was able to transfer and apply the knowledge and skills gained from one setting to other. The P-CRC were also very understanding of my university commitments making the two complementary rather than conflictual. Perhaps most importantly, the atmosphere within the organisation is supportive and encouraging, and it has been fascinating to meet such a wide variety of individuals. In short, I highly recommend being an intern with the P-CRC, as valuable knowledge and experience can be gained within a friendly and encouraging team.

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Amila recently completed her BA in Political Science, International Relations and International Law at the Sarajevo School of Science and Technology. With Post-conflict studies being her major field of interest, her BA thesis examined the effects of apology on inter-group relations in the region.

Additionally, Amila has been engaged in local and state politics for over four years and has been a candidate at both local and general elections in BiH. Prior to joining P-CRC, Amila’s academic work was focused on conducting research in the area of reconciliation and peace studies and included major research projects conducted in cooperation with the International Commission on Missing Persons, BIRN, etc.

She is also a personal trainer and competitive Crossfit athlete.

Internship Corner Photo. Topher 2

Topher Devine recently completed a BA in international relations from San Francisco State University. His thesis on NATO expansion and its affects in East-West relations, focused both on the creation of competing normative systems and security alliances. Before pursuing a formal education, he traveled through the Balkans and Middle East, developing a keen interest into the socioeconomic effects of human rights enforcement.

Since graduation he completed an internship with EUBAM in Ukraine, where he conducted research into the final settlement of the Transnistrian issue. Currently as an intern with PCRC, he hopes to learn more about the social impact of post-conflict settlements, as well as the various means to promote reconciliation and lasting resolutions.

Topher’s PCRC Internship Testimony

My time as an intern at PCRC has afforded me an intimate exposure to the issues surrounding BiH’s challenges following its conflict. Getting to know the team at PCRC has been a wonderful experience, as each member is unique, kind and well informed concerning the issues at hand. These past two months have been a real joy. I have found the opportunity to intern with an NGO to be quite eye opening.

I’ve spent much of my time copy editing my peers articles and research. Not only have I gained valuable experience in editing, I have been exposed to a broad array of issues such as: gender rights, human trafficking, and the struggles of reconciliation. Furthermore, PCRC afforded me the time to travel to the various entities of BiH while hosting their exhibition My Body: A War Zone. I highly recommend the experience to any of those interested in human rights, international affairs, and the various issues shared by the region.

Zenon Markovic

After graduating high school, Zenon studied Philosophy and Art History. Through his engagement with several local NGOs concerned with culture, human rights and community development, he became inspired by the direct approach to their field of work and is considering a change to his academic direction to more socio-political areas like International Relations and Diplomacy. Until he begins his studies, he will strive to gather as much practical experience and knowledge possible through various forms of non-formal education. He is excited to be involved in the activities of P-CRC and to spend constructive time and effort with such authentic and motivating people.

Zenon’s Internship Testimony

My P-CRC internship was a very rewarding experience. Rewarding in a way that it had expanded my views on the Bosnian society, as it is one of the few enterprises that show how much can be done to make it better. Through various practical activities I was able to scale up my skills and gain new ones in areas of business administration, project management and leadership. Working at P-CRC I was given an enriching opportunity to cooperate with people from all over the world and of many different cultural and academic backgrounds. Making valuable friendships and long-lasting contacts is one of the aspects that made my P-CRC engagement important for my future career ventures. P-CRC definitely gives a respectable example of how an internship can provide you with many good things. Thank you P-CRC!

Internship Corner Photo. Karim

Karim Sultan is a Bosnian citizen and is currently studying at the American University of Bosnia and Herzegovina during his third year of international law and diplomacy. Coming from a different cultural and ethnic background, Karim Sultan has developed major communication skills and the ability to convey various messages through assorted presentations to different audiences. Being a team leader in various projects on campus and off; he has developed specific leading skills that prioritize him as a manageable leader. Karim Sultan has concentrated his studies and based his knowledge on focusing on the creation of an international peace and unity and the prevention and elimination of racism, unfairness, inequality, and most importantly internationally reducing crime and promoting justice. Karim is looking forward to applying the aspects of international law and diplomacy theoretically and practically to various PCRC projects as well as gather the experience in and off the field. In addition to that, being fluent in Arabic will allow Karim to provide assistance to PCRC regarding the interaction with the Middle East and provide all the necessary help by building strong international relations between PCRC and foreign institutions and organizations.

Karim’s PCRC Internship Testimony

Applying for PCRC came from the will to learn about the Balkan’s history with conflict resolution. I applied for this organization with the sole benefit to learn about the Balkan’s politics and conflict resolution and I was never disappointed. I could easily say that I was highly impressed by PCRC’s accomplishments and its massive growth as a firm emerging through success.

Not only that my internship with PCRC gave me the superiority to conduct professional interviews, meetings, and the ability to publish my own articles of my designated interest, it also showed me that a mixture of professionalism and friendship can exist at a workplace. Attending a few film screenings and professional conferences revealed an image of how my life would look like after completing my international law and diplomacy degree at the American University of Bosnia and Herzegovina. I have expanded my views and have always had the chance to express my opinions and critiques about areas that interested me that were relevant to the workplace.

I enjoyed my time with PCRC, the team is indescribably awesome, and it is sure to state that no one could’ve ever wished for better supervisors and managers. However, I could also elaborate on the fact that this internship is definitely not for everyone. If you are a dedicated, hardworking, and an ambitious person, and actually want to develop your skills, then PCRC would be the right place for you.  

Internship Corner Photo. Lucy

Lucinda is a Gender Studies major with a focus on Women, Race and Culture and a Concentration in Community Engagement & Social Change.

Although currently enrolled at Smith College in Massachusetts, she is taking an additional semester abroad to enhance her thesis research.

Directly before joining PCRC, Lucinda spent her previous semester in Cape Town and the summer in Belgrade working with various human rights NGOs.

Her academic work focuses on the nature of ethnocentric discourse and how it impacts vulnerable communities in post-conflict societies. She plans to immerse herself in the practices of community-oriented transitional justice through her internship at PCRC. In particular, she would like to further her knowledge of contemporary gender-based violence within the context of the Western Balkans.

Lucy’s PCRC Internship Testimony

PCRC is a movement. PCRC works so hard to do everything it does, and I’m happy to have been a part of it. PCRC is my Sarajevo family. I feel so lucky to have contributed to the complex and nuanced efforts of advocacy and outreach that this organization engages in. Internally, PCRC fosters an environment of collaboration and community development, which is reflected in their work throughout the Balkan region. I look forward to applying practical skills I developed as an intern to my academic endeavors in the future. PCRC, thank you for granting me the opportunities to grow as a scholar, to increase my cultural awareness, and further my personal understandings of identity.

Internship Corner Photo. Lejla

My name is Lejla Krkic and currently I finished International University of Sarajevo, Faculty of Business Administration with major of International Relations. I decided to apply for the internship in PCRC, because I think that it can be very useful practice for my upcoming MA degree next year, which I am planning to do in Sttutgart, Germany in the field of Post-conflict resolutions and Human Rights. Personally I am interested in learning new things and working with people with different backgrounds and countries. According to that it is important to mention that I have been working for an NGO called AIESEC, which is the biggest student organization taking place in more than 110 countries all over the world for four years on different positions. By working there, I took an opportunity to go in Turkey for Internship in the city Adana, where I have been teaching English. I decided to apply for the internship in PCRC while I wanted to learn more about the transitional justice and post-conflict societies, as well as I want to publish as much articles about current topics and issues in my country. In the end I have to say that I am really happy to be chosen for this amazing internship among more than 250 interns and that I am glad to be part of this awesome group of people.

Lejla’s PCRC Internship Testimony

I feel so blessed to be a part of such an amazing team of interns here Post-Conflict Research Center. We all come from different backgrounds and have different strengths and passions, yet we are all working toward the common goal. Most importantly, this internship has taught me that I would really love to continue working with youth and students in a dynamic atmosphere that allows for creativity and open communication. I have gained experience in journalism and had opportunity to work for National Geographic.

I worked as translator for articles and interviews and I was working on my own article. What I liked the most was that everyone (interns) would help each other in reading, editing and improving things that need to be done.

On the other side what I did not like is the fact that we were lacking information for every particular event that took place and I felt very unprepared.

All things considered, I am positively impressed by this experience, and I want to recommend it to everyone that seeks improvement of personal and professional skills in this field.

Internship Corner Photo. Clara

Clara Fantoni is currently studying International Relations and a Diploma in News Journalism at the London School of Journalism. Clara is interested in conflict resolution using the arts and one day hopes to work in conflict and post conflict zones using education and art therapy as a way to bring about peace and reconciliation. Clara has spent time living and working in Israel at an Arab Jewish Community centre and has a special interest in the Middle East and the Balkans. Clara initially came to Sarajevo to research for a creative writing project and fell in love with the city and its energy. Clara was fortunate enough to discover PCRC and was greatly moved by its projects and mission, she is very happy to be part of such a passionate team. Whilst in Bosnia Clara aspires to deepen her knowledge regarding the psychosocial effects of war as well as broadening her writing skills.

Clara’s PCRC Internship Testimony

When I visited Sarajevo for the first time in July 2014 I knew that I would be returning, something about the city’s energy had captured my interest. During my first week I met Velma and was blown away by her contagious passion, she introduced me to P-CRC’s work and I was lucky enough to have the opportunity to join such a dynamic team.

The P-CRC interns have been an amazing group to work with and my time has been filled with laughter and interesting conversation. The work has been really stimulating and has given me the opportunity to expand my knowledge as well as follow my own interests.

Whilst working with P-CRC I was able to pursue my interest in the use of the arts for reconciliation, mediation and integration in conflict and post-conflict zones, as well as writing an article about the illegal adoption of Bosnian children abroad during the 90’s conflict.

I contributed to projects such as the ‘Warriors of Peace’ film week, collaboration with International NGO’s, writing reports about sexual violence, editing articles as well as conducting interviews, research and writing articles. I have learnt many invaluable lessons during my time in Bosnia as well as grown as a person, I am so happy that I got the chance to work with such interesting and supportive people on projects that are working towards making a change.

Benjamin Goffrier

Benjamin Goffrier holds a Bachelor degree in Sociology and History from the University of Potsdam. Recently, he completed an LL.M. in Law and Politics of International Security at the Free University of Amsterdam and is about to finish his Masters in Sociology and Military Studies at the University of Potsdam after the internship. Benjamin is interested in the dynamics and challenges of post-conflict societies. He went to Rwanda in 2012 to work on a project that supports children and teenagers to secure their living and education. After Benjamin did research at the Center for International Criminal Justice in Amsterdam on war criminals in former Yugoslavia, he decided to join the PCRC in order to learn more about Bosnian society and its transitional processes. During his stay, he is especially focusing on the function of public memorials as well as on the culture of protest that is currently emerging in face of constantly high unemployment rates and upcoming elections.

PCRCPhotoClaire Smith completed her undergraduate degrees and bar examinations in New Zealand in 2012.  For the past two years she has traveled extensively in Central and Eastern Europe, completing human rights internships with NGOs and think-tanks along the way.  Claire’s interest in transitional justice and the residual effects on human rights in post-conflict societies led her to the Balkans. Prior to arriving in Sarajevo, Claire completed an internship in Montenegro looking at the effect that EU accession has on human rights.  Claire was drawn to Sarajevo as she believes it is fundamental that humanitarian lawyers have a practical understanding of peace building and reconciliation. Whilst completing her internship with the PCRC, Claire is researching reparations for victims of sexual violence in conflict. She will begin her LLM in International Human Rights Law in October.  Claire is thrilled to be interning with the PCRC team, as well as to be able to spend the remainder of her summer in Sarajevo!

Claire’s PCRC Internship Testimony

Taylor McConnell

Taylor McConnell completed a B.A. International Studies and German Studies and a B.S. Econ in Management from the University of Pennsylvania in May 2014 and will begin an MSc in International Development at the University of Edinburgh in September 2014. He is originally from Central Pennsylvania and recently moved to Coastal Georgia before moving once more to Sarajevo.

Before completing an internship at the U.S. Consulate General in Munich, Germany, last summer, Taylor traveled through the Balkans and developed a keen interest in the post-war history of Bosnia, particularly in reconciling national identity, memory and development policy. He also enjoys photography and visual (mainly street) art and is excited to be working in an organization that brings together multimedia and peace building with tangible results. 

Jemma PhotoJemma Hoare is a student from London, and has just finished her first year of an International Masters in Economics, State and Society at University College London. In October 2014, she will start her second year of this degree at the University of Belgrade.

Jemma is very excited to be working with the PCRC, and wishes to further her knowledge and interest in the region whilst interning with an NGO involved in dynamic and creative projects. Having specialized in International Relations and Politics at undergraduate and postgraduate level, Jemma is particularly interested in post-conflict reconciliation, transitional justice and the role of international organizations in the Balkans.

Jemma’s PCRC Internship Testimony

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Jennifer MacNeill has recently completed her graduate studies at New York University with a Master of Science in Global Affairs, concentrating in Human Rights and International Law. While there, she co-led the Human Rights for International Law League- a student club designed to create and promote awareness about past and present global human rights issues. She was also co-editor of the student led academic journal “Perspectives on Global Issues”. Previous to her NYU studies, Jennifer completed her Bachelor of Arts in Sociology at Tulane University in New Orleans Louisiana, minoring in Disaster Studies and Anthropology. During this time she cultivated a further interest in the field of traumatic, post traumatic, and secondary care with both victims, survivors and trauma/disaster care workers while working as a research assistant for three years to Dr. Charles Figley at the Disaster Resilience Leadership Academy. Prior to and throughout her studies, Jennifer has volunteered and worked in eight countries, including Rwanda, Guinea (with asylum seekers from Sierra Leone), Malawi, Soweto- Johannesburg, Bolivia, Kolkata-India, and more. Most recently she completed a nine-month internship at the International Center for Transitional Justice in New York City where she assisted in the Communications Department. Her current research is investigating the current gaps in care for survivors of war-time sexual violence in Bosnia and Herzegovina and perpetrator impunity. Jennifer aspires to establish a career in the field of transitional justice, focusing on reparations here in the Balkans as well as cultivate her passion for photojournalism.

Jennifer’s PCRC Internship Testimony

My name is Jennifer MacNeill and I was an intern at the Post-Conflict Research Center during the summer of 2014. During my time at the PCRC, I had the opportunity to work with many amazing people from various backgrounds and to participate in projects that explored many different aspects of post-conflict reconciliation and rebuilding not only in Bosnia and Herzegovina but also across the Balkan region. Velma, Leslie and their staff are inspiring, motivating, and encouraging examples of compassion and intelligence in a geographic area where outreach and advocacy are extremely valuable across ethnic and age groups as well as genders. Our leaders encouraged us to create through projects and initiatives both individually and collaboratively. Velma took the time to meet with me over the course of the summer to help me with resources for my research project, which was invaluable. I am very grateful for my time at PCRC. I look forward to expanding upon the shared tools and knowledge during my future here in Bosnia and Herzegovina. 

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Matthew McEveety is currently studying International Relations at Leiden University in The Hague, and will be completing his Bachelor’s degree in the coming semester. He became very interested in the Balkan Wars while traveling throughout the region various times in the previous years. His interest in the Balkan’s sparked his decision to find job placement in the region, which brought him to the P-CRC. In addition, he will be focusing his final thesis on the current situation in Bosnia, providing him ample opportunity to conduct research during his time in the country. His hope is to continue his education by pursuing a Master’s degree in Political Science and expects that his internship will provide him quality experience in conducting fieldwork.

Matt’s PCRC Internship Testimony

Interning at the P-CRC was a tremendously rewarding experience that I will always treasure. It was an honor to be given the opportunity to work along side so many wonderful people. Velma and Leslie have created such a great working environment that allows all of the interns to not only experience the social and political atmosphere of a post-conflict developing country, but also forces the group to truly immerse with ordinary members of the community, allowing all of the interns to have their own unique encounter with the country. This translated into an environment where many of the interns I worked with, including myself, felt as though we had really become part of the community. Living in Sarajevo for such a period gave all of us the chance to really get to know the city. Although it did not seem like a small city when I first arrived, after a few weeks it was surprising how many familiar faces that you would see throughout the city, and how many close relationships that were formed.

The working environment was just as rewarding, as all the interns were given ample opportunity to conduct their own personal research, set up meetings for the group at various international organizations, and assist the P-CRC in its mission. After just a few weeks there it was obvious to me that this mission, something that Velma and Leslie had spent years of their lives working on, was incredibly effective and worthwhile. Observing how hard these two women work to help so many people would make any person feel lazy and ineffective in comparison. It was my pleasure to be able to assist them in their mission anyway I could, and I must say that I learned a lot from that experience. Not only that, the P-CRC team ensures that all of the interns get ample opportunity to benefit themselves, by being individually credited for almost ever aspect of the job.

Lastly, I would like to note that working along side my internship team allowed me to form friendships that I hope will last for a lifetime. The close-knit community within the P-CRC team is incredible to experience. By the end of my stay in Sarajevo, the group of interns, along with everyone at the P-CRC, felt somewhat like a big family to me. I think that the incredible friendship that all members of the P-CRC felt for each other is really what created such a great working environment, and an overall experience that I will always cherish.

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Thomas Van Vynckt is a student from Belgium. He recently received his Bachelor of Arts degree with a major in International Development from Leiden University. Before beginning his university education, Thomas obtained his International Baccalaureate (IBO) diploma in the United World College of Mostar (UWCiM), where he began learning about the history of the Balkans, which furthered his interest in conflict and development studies.

During his undergraduate studies, Thomas travelled back and forth between Belgium, the Netherlands, and the Balkans and familiarized himself with the current post-conflict development situation in Bosnia and Herzegovina. He just completed his final Bachelor thesis, which discussed the roots and causes of the February (2014) social unrest in Bosnia and Herzegovina.

Thomas is very much interested in post-conflict development studies in general and particularly in ethnically divided societies. He will pursue his Masters degrees from January onwards in post-conflict development. By joining the P-CRC, he hopes to perfect his understanding of Balkan history, and specifically the development of BiH.

Thommy’s Internship Testimony: How three worlds have merged

I started my internship at the P-CRC as a fresh graduate from the Leiden University College in The Hague. The excitement of a new start along with the nostalgia of turning a considerable page of my life created, in my opinion, the best conditions for my journey to the Balkans.

I lived in Mostar for two years when I was 16 to 18 years old (2009-2011), where I finished high school at the United World College. I always knew I would return, but I did not know I would ever work there. I discovered the P-CRC while researching for my Bachelor thesis. My thesis focused on the causes and events leading up to the February ’14 protests in Sarajevo. One thing is sure, I learned as much about Bosnia in two months then I did in 4 months when researching for my paper in the Netherlands, or as I did in 2 years when I lived there as a high school student. The enriching factor is that I learned as much but always about different aspects.

During my time as an intern I did not only research on post-conflict reconciliation and development, I immersed myself entirely in the Bosnian and world history, as painful or intense as it may be. As soon as I arrived, all of us – interns and staff of the P-CRC – were on the front line of organizing the First World War Art Reporting Memory (WARM) festival, reuniting all the guests and members of its foundation. A foundation both Velma Saric and Leslie Woodward – founder and co-founder of the P-CRC – are members of. This festival opened my eyes to the reality of war media and war reporting as well as the importance of telling a story with “excellence and integrity.”

During my internship I also had the chance to assist the Srebrenica Memorial in Potocari for the 19 years of the genocide, and visit Vares for an exhibition on the Ordinary Heroes. There again, I was given the chance to dive into the core of Bosnia and Herzegovina and meet people who did not only survive a war but also put themselves in danger to save other people’s lives. These experiences have been breath taking and have, as strange as it may seem, altered my vision of conflict by providing me hope the world is never completely “black” and can definitely get better.

I was more than happy to find out that Velma Saric personally knows my thesis supervisor Maja Vodopivec, Dan Saxon, a former ICTY prosecutor, and Aernout van Lynden, former journalist who covered the siege of Sarajevo, all three teaching in the Leiden University College. And I am looking forward to keep on working with the P-CRC from the Netherlands – or wherever I may be – with the help of interviews, reports, or mere postcards.

The two months I spent in Sarajevo at the P-CRC have helped me connect the dots between my experience in Mostar, where I first learned the Bosnian lifestyle and the harshness of ethnic divisions, and The Hague, where I learned the practicalities of development studies and post-conflict development actions. I am looking forward to the future and thank both Leslie Woodward and Velma Saric for this extraordinary experience.

Steph Sugars

Stephanie Sugars is a senior at the College of Wooster in the US, where she is earning Bachelor’s degrees in International Relations and Anthropology. In 2013, she spent 4 months living in Beograd, Serbia studying Peace and Conflict Studies and conducting research in Sarajevo on the 2013 Census. She is very interested in social movements, the promotion of human rights, and conflict and post-conflict studies. Having been entranced by Sarajevo and Bosnia-Herzegovina during her research and brief internship at the Balkan Investigative Reporting Network (BIRN), Stephanie enthusiastically looks forward to her time with PCRC as an opportunity to deepen her knowledge of the present complexities of the state and region, gain experience working with an NGO on post-conflict issues, and learn about the utilization of new media in activism and outreach.

Stephanie’s Internship Testimony

My experience working with the Post-Conflict Research Center was one of the most influential times of my life. The sheer number of opportunities I was afforded as an intern is unbelievable, including activism, blogging, photojournalism, graphic design, interviewing, project management, and curation. This experience has opened my eyes to the myriad ways I can apply the knowledge and skills I’ve gained through my education to affect real change in the world. Moving forward, I hope to engage in digital storytelling- largely inspired by PCRC’s multimedia approach- and possibly pursue a master’s degree in human rights, international development, or visual communications.

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Anna Fontanini is an Italian student who holds a Bachelor degree in Foreign Languages applied to European Law and Economics at the University Sorbonne Nouvelle, in Paris. She is currently completing the first year of a Master program in International Action in Paris.

Her interest in humanitarian action and activism brought her volunteering in the West Bank (Palestine) for few months in 2013, and after an internship in the field of Cultural Diplomacy in Berlin, she decided to find an internship in Bosnia and Herzegovina in order to be able to observe the post-conflict reality from closer, and the link between emergency, rehabilitation and development, which is also the subject of her Master’s thesis.

Anna’s Internship Testimony

Internship Testimony – Anna & Juliette from P-CRC on Vimeo.

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Juliette Ganne is completing her master’s degree at Université de Montréal in political science. Her thesis focuses on the responsibilities of international organizations in Bosnia and Herzegovina. She holds a bachelor degree from McGill University in political science, history, and art history. During her undergraduate studies, she spent a year in exchange at Sciences Po Paris, in the Dijon campus, which specialized on central and oriental Europe. This experience gave her the opportunity to discover the Balkan region, and led her to this internship. Now, she wishes to expand her knowledge of the region both on academic and personal levels.

Juliette’s Internship Testimony

Internship Testimony – Anna & Juliette from P-CRC on Vimeo.

Benjamin Lemerle

Benjamin Lemerle is a French student and holds a Bachelor of Political Science from Sciences Po Grenoble. Next year, he will complete his Master’s degree in Politics and Practices of International Organizations. In 2013, he spent 6 months in Istanbul, Turkey, as an Erasmus exchange student, studying International Relations and Middle Eastern Politics. He is very interested in the promotion of human rights and social change, particularly in the Balkans where he already worked for another NGO dedicated to support the children (talented, disabled and Roma children) victims of war in former Yugoslavia. He truly considers this experience at PCRC as a fantastic background for his future professional career. Now, he wants to understand in more detail the complexity of the Bosnian society and hopes to deepen his knowledge on post-conflict situations, twenty years after the end of the war in Bosnia.

Fiorenzo

Fiorenzo Polito recently graduated with a Bachelor’s in Translation and Interpretation from the University of Trieste, Italy. After completing his Bachelor’s, he decided to take a year off from university to try and further integrate his linguistic background within the fields of politics and international relations through collaboration with P-CRC. Apart from that, he was looking for a convincing excuse to come back to Sarajevo as he’s visited before! In the future, he plans to start a Master’s course in political science. Most of all, he is interested and amazed by the utilization of audiovisual media to transmit the organisation’s purposes and messages to a wide public.

jelena

Jelena Lukic is a student from Belgrade, and holds a Bachelor’s degree in Marketing and Public Relations from Belgrade University. She worked in an advertising agency during her studies and also did private practice administration jobs. Combining studies with working gave her the chance to take on responsibilities that required flexibility, motivation and responsibility. Her multicultural background has developed her interest in peace building in the region. In 2014/2015 she wants to continue her academic career and enroll in a Master’s degree in Human Rights, with a focus on conflict analysis and its prevention. Working at PCRC will be a great possibility to gain experience and knowledge in a related field.

Jelena’s Internship Testimony

My internship at the PCRC was in many ways a good opportunity for me. As it was my first internship I was a bit stressed, but as soon as I arrived I was warmly welcomed and immediately felt the friendly atmosphere of the workplace. Despite some challenges faced from time to time in the various tasks we were assigned, the cheerfulness and friendliness of each team worker and each intern was a very positive element.

I was able to work on building trust and facilitating mutual understanding of people all around the world. Various cultural events and incredible conferences were the places to do it. One of the most impressive thing that happend to me while working with PCRC team was attending End of Sexual Violence in Conflict, global summit, that took place in Sarajevo in March 2014. The event was chaired by William Hague, British Foreign Secretary, and Angelina Jolie, and the Special Envoy for the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees

Moreover, working in such an international environment gave me the opportunity to appreciate cultural differences, and therefore, to build long-lasting relationships. It is a great chance to learn to work in an office and in teams, especially as first internship, since there are always people ready to help you and give you suggestions. You feel integrated since the beginning and after few weeks you are given responsibilities, which of course help you to grow professionally.

Thank you PCRC Team and see you soon!

Paulina

Paulina Wozniak is a graduate of Sociology and International Relation from Adam Mickiewicz University in Poznan, Poland. She has spent some time studying in Turkey and Bosnia and Herzegovina – doing research and developing her disposition to move. She is strongly interested in Politics and Human Rights and also truly believes in civil society, tolerance, understanding and the existence of a sense of morality. Paulina is very enthusiastic about current projects at PCRC, as well as the ones to come!

Paulina’s Internship Testimony

PCRC is a team. A great team, which gave me opportunity to learn how to create and run NGO from its best! Velma and Leslie are extremely passionate about their work and can pass it to all people who would like to take part in PCRC work and projects. By visiting UN and BiH institutions, taking part in lectures and conferences PCRC let me get to know more about Bosnia and Herzegovina and its legal and political system and world of Bosnian NGOs. I am very happy that I was part of PCRC family, because it is how whole team treats you – as a friend, as a part of something bigger than your task, assessment or project. It is wonderful to see PCRC growing and I hope the biggest success is still to come!

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Siara Costa is originally from Brazil, where she graduated with a degree in History from the State University of Sao Joal del Rei. After that, she moved to Germany in the hopes of pursuing an international career. She did some volunteer work and later on began her Master’s in International Social Sciences at the Friedensau Adventist University (close to Berlin). Her interests in human rights and peace and conflict research brought her to Sarajevo. She is expecting to learn a lot through the internship and through the expertise of PCRC, her new colleagues and the ongoing post-conflict work in the region.

Siara’s Internship Testimony

From February to April I had the opportunity to do my internship at PCRC and I really enjoyed. There are some things that I appreciated most. First of all, the leadership and the workers. PCRC is small, but has a fantastic team. From Fata, who helps in almost everything, to Tatjana, the super-efficient secretary, to Velma, the multitasking boss, everything works harmonically in all spheres. I liked their   patience, openness, willingness to help me in everything I needed (and I mean not only work related things) and also their passion for their amazing country. I also appreciated the fact, that we had an international team of interns, what made the experience even more interesting. At the time I came, we did not have much practical work to be done, since most of the projects were waiting for founds, or due to summer, but Tatjana and Velma organized some interesting learning trips and meetings with local and international organizations. What I also liked a lot, was the fact, that before giving me tasks, Velma would talk to me (and to other interns also) to know our interest fields, and she would give us tasks related to that. She also monitored us closely and was always open to give and receive feedback. That was great for me, since I was doing the internship also as compulsory activity for my university and I could relate things, that I was learning or doing research for my papers with the activities from PCRC. During the internship, we also had the opportunity to participate in an international conference about preventing sexual violence in conflicts and I learned a lot, what is being done in this area in BiH, but also in other places.

PCRC is a small, local organization, but already hat its mark in the local NGO brunch, thanks to its hard work and to its passionate workers. So, I can just recommend a stay there, so you can experience by yourself, how is to work there.

Kuntz, Jessica1A native of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, Jess completed her undergraduate work at Georgetown University’s School of Foreign Service. After graduating in 2010, she received a Fulbright fellowship to Croatia, where her research focused on Croatia’s post-communist political culture. She is currently pursuing a Masters degree in International & Public Affairs at the University of Pittsburgh and aspires to a career in economic development. Jess is spending the 2013-14 academic year in Sarajevo on a Boren fellowship, and is excited to be a part of the work that P-CRC is doing throughout the region.

Jess’ Internship Testimony

My internship with P-CRC afforded me a fascinating insider’s look into the inter workings of the NGO community in Bosnia. I particularly benefitted from conversations with fascinating individuals and partners working to make a positive difference in such diverse fields as journalism, diplomacy and international justice. The opportunity to connect with these people, to learn about their passions and what makes them tick, was invaluable. Collectively, my time at PCRC deepened my understanding of Bosnian culture and society.

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Jasna is a graduate of International Studies and German from the University of North Carolina at Charlotte. Her undergraduate senior seminar was on the assimilation of African immigrants in Spain. She was born in Bosnia and Herzegovina and moved to the United States in 1994. She moved back to Bosnia in 2013 in order to pursue a career within an international organization. In the future, she hopes to go to graduate school for International Relations or Diplomacy. Jasna was attracted to P-CRC’s mission to work towards sustainable peace in the Balkans.

Jasna’s Internship Testimony 

I was an intern at The Post-Conflict Research Center from December 2013 to March 2014. I chose to do an internship at PCRC because I was attracted to their multimedia and youth-centered approach to peace and conflict resolution. I very much appreciated that their staff was young and diverse. Prior to interning at PCRC, I had absolutely zero experience in the NGO sector.

As an intern, I took part in and was exposed to a great variety of activities. From day one, I was fully involved in PCRC’s day-to-day work. What I mean is that I was not given “busy work,” but instead did solid work for PCRC as any of their permanent employees would. I started off by editing others’ blog posts and even wrote one of my own. I created and edited spreadsheets and did research related to possible activities that we could use to further develop the youth workshops. I drafted and wrote a few memos and documents as well. I translated several e-mails and documents from Bosnian to English.

As time passed, I moved on to even more hands-on work. I began to write grants towards the end of December 2013. Grant writing always seemed difficult and complicated to me, but Velma not only gave me the resources to start learning how to write grants but also led me through every part of the application process step-by-step. Even though grant writing could be tedious and the deadlines rigorous, grant writing became easier and easier with every grant I worked on.

I attended several presentations, meetings, and seminars as an intern on behalf of PCRC. Even if a presentation topic did not seem to directly relate to topics I was interested in, I attended anyway and learned something new at each and every one I attended. I went to a youth worker training seminar in Novi Pazar, Serbia in February 2014 with only average expectations. I, however, not only met several interesting people in the NGO sector, but returned with real-world experience and many ideas on how to apply them to PCRC.

I gained practical experience in the NGO sector through my internship at PCRC. I can’t describe how grateful I am for that. I am also grateful to have been given responsibilities. I hope to have a long future with PCRC and I hope I come about some new and creative ideas to add to the already existing programs at PCRC. All things considered, I am positively impressed by this experience, and I want to recommend it to everyone that seeks improvement of their personal and professional skills in this field.

I would suggest to future interns that they choose something specific that they are interested in and would like to gain a better understanding of and to share that with the staff of PCRC. It’s up to the individual to make good use of their time here and the resources PCRC offers. The staff is open-minded, has access to an array of resources, and is more than willing to help each intern to realize their individual goals.

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Yeree is a graduate of International Relations from Boston University and has over four years’ experience working on justice reform projects in Washington, DC as well as supporting the Washington Internships for Native Students Program. Her graduate studies in Peace and Conflict Resolution at American University led her move to Sarajevo in order gain field experience in reconciliation and transitional justice in post-conflict society. She will begin her MA in Conflict Analysis and Reconciliation at the Sarajevo School of Science and Technology next September. Yeree is excited to be part of the PCRC team and to learn the challenges and process of reconciliation firsthand.

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Katherine is a student at Siena College in Albany, New York where she studies Political Science and History. She has been traveling throughout Serbia, Bosnia, and Kosovo writing a thesis on international intervention focusing primarily on Bosnia. Katherine has interned with US Congressmen and State Congressmen in the past and is very exciting to be interning with P-CRC. Her interests include the break-up of Yugoslavia, conflict studies, and comparative studies. She has fallen in love with the region and is gripped with Sarajevo and the people who live here.

Katherine’s PCRC Internship Testimony

Starting my internship with PCRC, I had no idea what it would entail and what I would learn from this experience. Velma and Leslie were amazing in the fact that they allowed me to intern when it fit my schedule. Both of them were so supportive and gave me so many opportunities during my time in Sarajevo and with PCRC.

PCRC allowed me to attend protests, go to conferences, meet world-changing people and get to chance to talk to them. I had so many opportunities from PCRC that the hardest part of leaving Sarajevo was leaving the prospects and the people of PCRC. For example, I was able to attend the 20th Anniversary Conference for the ICTFY. From this conference I listened to speakers from around the world and was able to hear from NGOs in Bosnia and learn about the troubled faced by victims today. The fellow interns were also amazing. It was lovely to talk to people from all over and discuss what led them to PCRC or post-conflict locations. The atmosphere in the office was friendly, open, fun, and everything I ever could have wanted from an internship.

As I move on I think back to PCRC and all that they provided me with. I would not be where I am and know what I know without them and I hope one day to travel back to Sarajevo and thank them again for all they have done for me.

 

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Morgan Radbourne is a recent graduate of psychology from The University of British Columbia in Vancouver, Canada. Starting in September 2014, Morgan will be attending journalism school in Toronto. Though her interests are difficult to summarize, she is passionate about better understanding the causes and implications of violence, the generational effects of conflict and the role of women in war and peace building. After reading Ed Vulliamy’s “The War is Dead, Long Live the War, Bosnia: The Reckoning” she became fixated with Bosnia, vowing to travel to the Balkan country immediately following graduation and contribute to its reconstruction anyway she could. Morgan is thrilled to be a part of the P-CRC team and the brilliant work that they continue to do.

Morgan’s PCRC Internship Testimony

I decided to travel to Bosnia with a lot of curiosity and a small bit of hope that by somehow throwing myself into the region I would better understand the Bosnian war and post-conflict society. When I discovered PCRC I was captivated by their goals and commitment to ensuring peace throughout Bosnia and the world. Infatuated with PCRC’s ideals, I applied for an internship to learn about sustainable peace in post­-conflict societies.

My first meeting with the PCRC team was when we piled into a van to attend commemorative events at the Trnopolje and Omarska concentration camps. I witnessed intense pain parallel to unwavered strength. I saw people with so much to be angry about stand up and encourage others to forgive.  I learned more about BiH and its people in these two days than I have ever been able to understand in a book or a classroom. Various interviews and meetings introduced me to concentration camp survivors, women victims of tortures, members of NGO’s and an award winning war correspondent.

I was so fortunate to have had the opportunity to cater my internship experience to my individual aspirations. With Velma and Leslie’s mentorship and encouragement, I was able to delve into uncomfortable situations and connect with people and deal sensitively with devastating issues. The skills I learned during my time at PCRC will no doubt help me in practical aspects of journalism in the future. Beyond that, I learned greatly about the type of journalist I’d like to be.

Before you start an internship at PCRC (or visit Bosnia at all) I recommend letting go of the ideas you hold about the country, its past and its people, for they will certainly change. PCRC will undoubtedly introduce you to issues and solutions that lay outside of the traditional reconciliatory process. An internship with PCRC is a phenomenal learning experience, but be warned, you will fall deeply in love with Bosnia.

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My name is Vedrana Pantic; I was born in Bosnia and Herzegovina and moved to United States in 2002. I have been studying Global Studies, minor in Human Rights, at San Jose State University in California. Currently, I am working on my last two semesters towards completing my Bachelor’s Degree. My next semester I will be doing at Science Po Lille in Lille France, where I will be taking classes towards my focus of Political Science. I would like to continue my education and begin my Master’s Degree in International Relations in September 2014. Being born in 1991 I lived through and post the war in Bosnia and got to see and experience the horror that Bosnia had gone through. It was devastating to see my home country go through war and lose so much, and I always wished I could do something to contribute to the recovery of Bosnia and bring the people together. When I heard about P-CRC and did some research, I realized that the work they do is exactly what I have a desire for. I couldn’t be happier to be part of the great team and contribute my skills and knowledge towards P-CRC’s mission.

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Vedrana’s PCRC Internship Testimony

As I have mentioned my desire to make a change in Bosnia brought me to P-CRC, and I am very happy to be part of such a great organization. I came to P-CRC having an idea of what they do and what kind of changes they are making, but I did not have an idea of how much work, effort and change they have already done. They work with multiple projects at one time, so they don’t waste anytime and use every min of the day and every great idea they get towards making a difference with people in Bosnia. This doesn’t mean that they don’t do anything but work. Velma and Leslie are great leaders. They are very understanding, very intelligent, helpful and push you to learn, but know how to make it fun that you just want to do more. Some of the projects that I have worked on during my time of the internship was advertising Srdjan Aleksic Youth Competition, translating the reports of the Ordinary Heroes project, Worked on UN prevention of Genocide project and translation for Ivana Mostarac, a survivor of the war, and Jasmin Odobasic, a survivor of concentration camp in Bosnia. I got a chance to visit and experience Trnopolje and Omarska concentration camps, which was an amazing experience for me. I was happy to be able to contribute my skills to P-CRC as well as I can say I have learned a lot from them. I worked with a great group of interns as well. We got really close which also made work more fun, and I can say that I have met some amazing friends who I will definitely keep in touch in the future.

One piece of advice I would give to the interns is to intern for at least two months. Unfortunately I couldn’t stay longer than 5 weeks, and I feel that in order to work on a project and complete it more time is necessary.

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Tim is a graduate of English Literature and Political Science from the University of York, and has over three years’ experience of working for a range of small NGOs in the UK. His interest in post-conflict reconstruction evolved from travelling to Cambodia and Bosnia, and working from the UK on development projects in Sierra Leone. He is due to undertake an MA in Post-war Recovery Studies in September 2013, and is interested in methods of reconciliation outside of the traditional justice system. As such, he is keen to explore with PCRC how atrocities of the past can be best illuminated and narrated in order to help foster a sustainable peace.

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Tim’s PCRC Internship Testimony

I applied to PCRC after being impressed with the organisation’s mission, values, and projects, and on being accepted I was hopeful that an internship would allow me to explore my research interests and better understand the environment within which Bosnian NGOs work.

It’s safe to say that my summer exceeded both of these expectations. Whilst I learnt all that I hoped to (and more) within the office, the true value of this internship came from the experiences which I was afforded beyond my agreed roles and responsibilities. Trips to Trnopolje, Omarska and Srebrenica, plus further insights provided by professionals, victims and civilians, presented a rare opportunity to explore the complexities of this country at the grassroots.

The benefits of this were two-fold: my understanding of post-conflict processes was both informed and significantly altered, and I also discovered new interests that I’d like to pursue in the future. Thus I’d like to thank all of the staff at PCRC for their efforts, in addition to all those individuals who took the time to share their knowledge and experience.

An internship with PCRC is not for everyone – to truly benefit you need to be open-minded, possess initiative, and have the confidence to throw yourself into unexpected tasks – but if you fit this profile then a chance to work with this organisation is one that should not be turned down.

DSC_0793Alix comes from France where she just finished a Bachelor in Political studies at Sciences Po Lille. When she was younger she had the great opportunity to travel a lot with her parents, which gave her a strong will to know more about other countries and cultures. After studying international affairs as a specialty in her second year of university, she developed an interest for post-conflict and reconstruction issues. In 2012/2013 Alix spent a year studying in Bergen, Norway where she followed many courses related to development and international politics. In September 2013 she will start her Masters studies in Conflict and Development.

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Alix’s PCRC Internship Testimony

It seems rather difficult to summarize everything I had the opportunity to learn and do at the P-CRC during my summer in Sarajevo. It was an incredible experience and I truly thank Velma and Leslie for their implication and their passion that we got a chance to share during two months and a half. The internship gave me the opportunity to discover a country, a region, but also the difficulties encountered today by some people living in Bosnia and Herzegovina. They moved me, and changed my vision on many subjects. What I thought was really striking is that despite the differences between my home country France and Bosnia, people have always been welcoming, nice, and willing to share their stories and their experiences. 

My work at the P-CRC made me realize the importance to work for reconciliation in the Balkan region and more particularly in Bosnia where I got to work. Thanks to Velma and Leslie, I had the chance to meet people who today are working on these issues and act for a better future in their country.

On top of the everyday work in the office, I had the incredible opportunity to attend different events (commemorations, conferences, ceremonies, film screenings, etc.) that made my internship not only a really interesting job but also more of an adventure, an experience that I will never forget. I also got to meet incredible people working with my fellow interns. The atmosphere in the office was of course serious but also really friendly and nice.

I am, now, back in France to study for my master, and I want to study the mechanisms of conflict resolution and mediation. My observation of what has been done in Bosnia gave me a will to work on those issues, but also a vision on their possible consequences.

I wish I will have the opportunity to come back to Bosnia and Herzegovina really soon! And I will make sure to visit the P-CRC when I do.

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Philip Farrell comes from Meath in Ireland and graduated from the University of Limerick with a BA in Politics and Public Administration. During the course of his undergrad studies, his main focus was on European Regionalism and Post-Conflict civil society. In 2007/08 he spent some time in Kosovo working on his University dissertation about the role of the Serbian Orthodox Church in the region/republic. It was while writing this dissertation and collecting information in Kosovo, that he became passionate about Post Conflict issues. His other passion is teaching and Philip spent 4 years living in Japan where he was an English Teacher in a rural Elementary School. From September 2013, he will return to University to study for his MA in Peace and Development Studies.

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Phil’s PCRC Internship Testimony

If I were to sum up interning at the PCRC in three words they would be; challenging, eye-opening, and fun.

I can’t pretend to have known much about the struggles that Bosnia and Bosnians were going through to move their country forward, prior to coming to Sarajevo. Suffice to say, my three months working under Velma and Leslie taught me a huge amount. From exposure to a huge range of materials and literature, to attendance at a host of conferences and debates, to memorial services and concentration camp remembrances; a PCRC internship was without a doubt the most valuable learning exercise I have ever been a part of.

I got to join the PCRC’s workshop in Srebrenica, and interact with local kids there. I attended the Sarajevo Film Festival for work! I slept at a concentration camp in Trnopolje, and met survivors at Omarska. I visited the Potocari memorial in Srebrenica, twice for different functions. I met survivors, warriors, pioneers, and humanists. Many people I would have called victim before; I see in a different light now. Many I would have called Serbs, Muslims, orCroats before; I see simply as people now.

I will return to University to do my MA with an arsenal of knowledge and a comprehension of how far Bosnia has to go, and how far it has already come. For all this and more, I want to thank Velma and Leslie, Tatjana and Safet, Nidjara and Fatah, Tim and Alix, Vedrana and Dan, for everything they have shared with me and taught me. I won’t forget it.

One final thing….the office atmosphere is brilliant!!!! 

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My name is Daniel J. Merton and I am a senior at Arcadia University in Glenside, Pennsylvania. This year I will complete my Bachelor’s Degree in International Relations, with a focus on globalization, development, and human rights and a minor in Cultural Anthropology. For the majority of my time at university, I have concentrated my research and studies on the breakup of Yugoslavia, particularly the war in Bosnia, a topic I have only grown more passionate about the more I study. In addition to Arcadia, I have studied at City University London in London, England and Kadir Has University in Istanbul, Turkey. In the summer of 2012 I also completed an internship with the US Congress in the office of US Senator Frank R. Lautenberg where I had the opportunity to participate in many community outreach programs and work with various other aspects and departments of both the Federal and State governments. Next year I plan to pursue my Master’s Degree in Cultural Anthropology, continuing to concentrate my work on Bosnia, a country that, through my studies and numerous trips, has captivated me like nowhere else in the world.

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Dan’s PCRC Internship Testimony

I’d been studying the Bosnian War for over two years when I moved to Sarajevo for the summer to work with PCRC in May of 2013. It wasn’t my first time in Sarajevo either, I’d already been there twice in the past six months, while I was studying at Kadir Has University in Istanbul. It didn’t take very long to realize that all the books I read and films I had watched about Bosnia, the war, or Yugoslavia hadn’t given me the whole picture about this place, this culture, or these people. The more time that I have spent in Sarajevo, the more I’ve found to learn about and more interested in everything about the country I’ve become. All the books in the world couldn’t teach me what spending a night in the Trnopolje concentration camp taught me, or properly convey what it’s like to meet and listen to the stories of victims of the Omarska death camp or family members of victims of the Srebrenica genocide at the Potočari Memorial ceremony. PCRC has provided me with the opportunity to experience things that you simply cannot have by reading a book or watching a film about Bosnia or any post-conflict society. Experiences like the ones I had in Potočari, Omarska, Sarajevo, and everywhere in between will stay with me for the rest of my life. I consider it a privilege to have worked with an organization like PCRC that produces such exceptional and insightful documentaries and does so much great work for the people of the region. My work with PCRC and the opportunity to work alongside people like Velma and Leslie who are so devoted to and passionate about the field of post-conflict studies and Bosnia itself has only further inspired me to continue my own studies of the beautiful nation of Bosnia and I hope to moved back to Sarajevo next summer after I have completed my BA in May of 2013. 

Caroline Hopper

I am currently a student working towards my Bachelor’s degree in political science at George Washington University in Washington DC. Along with my studies I also have a passionate interest in human rights, social justice and conflict resolution. I have committed much of my time to sustainable development and long-term research projects at home and in India, Rwanda and Bosnia. These projects have had special focuses on homelessness, women’s rights, healthcare equality, and equality in legislation. Additionally, I have worked for the Institute for Women’s Policy Research and at the Employment Justice Center in Washington DC. I am also in love with Sarajevo.

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Carrie’s PCRC Internship Testimony

Though I had only intended on spending one week in BiH, after meeting Leslie and Velma, I ended up staying for over two months. Let that be a testament to the unique and dedicated ambition practiced by the women behind PCRC. I am so honored to have been able to intern with this organization.

With such a unique historical, political and social situation in BiH, it is necessary for a peace-building organization to be able to practice a nimble understanding of diverse and specific needs of several groups, while maintaining a commitment to the grounded principles of human rights for all. It is clear that PCRC was constructed with this understanding as its foundation. In this sense, PCRC is a dynamic and multi-faceted organization that offers dream opportunities for an intern trying to learn more about development, peace building, politics and history. From photojournalism to grant writing, helping plan conferences to observing interviews, what I experienced as a PCRC intern is invaluable.

Beyond the assigned tasks, the time spent with Leslie and Velma, I have to say, is equally as valuable to me. As I mentioned earlier, these two individuals literally changed my life by encouraging me to stay in Bosnia. However, after my time in Bosnia, I now realized that they were encouraging me to do much more. Learning about this astonishing place, having one-on-one conversations with survivors, getting access to numerous political agents and perspectives, and gaining technical skills would have all made this internship worthwhile. However, more importantly was my opportunity to shadow Leslie and Velma, two incredible pioneers in new efforts for peace building in a nation that so badly deserves a chance.

Shaina Makani

Shaina Makani received her undergrad in political science, at Carroll University Wisconsin with minors in history and communication. She  is especially interested in Bosnia, and  wrote her undergraduate thesis on intervention and Bosnia.

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Shaina’s PCRC Internship Testimony

Last summer, I spent three weeks in Bosnia as part of the AEGIS Trust Discover Bosnia program; although I had studied Bosnian history for several years, it is one thing to read about the Latin Bridge, the Potocari Memorial Complex or the Mehmed Pasha Sokolovic Bridge in a book, and quite another to see those places first hand.

Those three weeks left a strong impression on me, but I felt as if I only scratched the surface, and if I wanted to better understand Bosnia I would need to return. I also wanted to work with an organization on the forefront of fostering meaningful change in the country. Two aspects of P-CRC’s work that I found particularly impressive was their strong focus on utilizing the traditional and social media to spread the message of hope and reconciliation and their specific focus, through competitions, workshops and conferences on youth, not only in Sarajevo, but throughout the entire country and among all ethnic groups. As an intern, I especially appreciated the chance to not only work with Velma and Leslie, but also the chance to research the impact of PTSD in Bosnia, attend a conference on sexual violence and contribute in other ways to some exciting projects P-CRC are currently working on.

Leanne Baumung

Leanne comes to the PCRC from Hawaii, USA. She is a former advocacy intern of the World YWCA in Geneva, Switzerland where she worked to bring grassroots women’s voices to international political forums. Leanne helped conduct a gendered analysis of ethnic and resource-based conflicts in rural Ethiopia last year and has most recently been researching youth and creative nonviolent resistance in the Occupied Palestinian Territories for her MA thesis in International Development. Leanne has particular interest in strengthening youth and women empowerment initiatives in conflict and post-conflict contexts, and is grateful for the opportunity to support the work of the PCRC during the fall term.

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Leanne’s PCRC Internship Testimony

After first briefly visiting Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH) as a wandering student of international development earlier this year, I was compelled to return. I was so struck by the vast potential of this great country, by all of its deeply layered complexities, and by the residues of its haunting past, specifically the barriers to progress and prosperity induced by lasting divisions among peoples. Working with the Post Conflict Research Center has not only given me a great opportunity to explore many of the lingering impressions, questions, and concerns Bosnia has inspired for me; it also has allowed me to contribute my skills and spirit to support the powerful projects PCRC is currently undertaking. The work of PCRC focuses on what I know to be perhaps the most important part of conflict transformation, reconciliation and post-conflict development – the human element. As a whole, their projects concentrate on the health of human, social and political relationships – such a critical focal point for any initiative seeking to build sustainable peace. Velma and Leslie are creating space for healing and moving forward in BiH through the PCRC, and it has been a real privilege for me to be a part of that process.

Jelena Vukobrat

I am a translator currently enrolled in a graduate program in Literature at the University of Sarajevo. After the completion of my undergraduate studies in English Language and Literature I spent two years working as a translator/interpreter at the Center for Investigative Reporting (CIN) in Sarajevo, a news organization dedicated to investigating organized crime and corruption. As a freelance translator I have established a lasting cooperation with several clients, including the BH Journalists Association (BHJ), for which I have translated a number of written materials (including Council of Europe documents pertaining to human rights and media freedoms). I have also interpreted at a number of meetings and helped coordinate foreign guests’ activities at a media conference organized by the BHJ. As a translator, I specialize in human rights and media freedoms, public policy, legislature and politics.

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Jelena’s PCRC Internship Testimony

I consider the three months I spent at PCRC a great privilege and a unique learning experience. Not only did I get a chance to work as a translator on workshops dealing with issues I feel strongly about, such as peace-building and reconciliation, I was also given an opportunity to engage in more practical tasks such as helping with the coordination and organization of a student conference and a photography exhibition. Throughout the entire process, I found the PCRC team extremely supportive and helpful. While having worked as a translator in the fields I specialize in has given me ample opportunity to gain insight into the numerous problems Bosnia and Herzegovina has been facing as a post-conflict society, working in PCRC has made me feel I can truly make a difference and contribute to building a better future in my country.

Vanja Pantić

Vanja Pantić is a Sarajevo native who is working towards her Bachelor’s degree in International Relations and Political Science, with a focus on world systems and the Middle East, at Boston University. She has a particular interest in diplomacy, foreign affairs and human rights and is intensely passionate about the human rights of refugee and internally displaced populations, especially as they pertain to women. Pantić has also worked as a Student Ambassador for the United Nations Association of Greater Boston and as an English Language Conversation Partner for the English Language Center of Boston.

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Vanja’s PCRC Internship Testimony

Though originally from Sarajevo, I left Bosnia at a very early age as a result of the war that tore apart the country my family and I called home for countless generations. Each year, I would return to visit the family that stayed in the city and each time, Sarajevo would capture a greater piece of my heart.

I quickly realized how much development Sarajevo, and Bosnia & Herzegovina, as a whole needed to undergo in order for a normalization of life to occur. I yearned to somehow contribute to that change but was often disappointed at the lack of enthusiasm my generation showed for such work and even more so letdown by the lack of opportunity to contribute voluntarily to an organization.

In the summer of 2011, I was lucky enough to find a newly established organization that contributed education, reconciliation, conflict resolution and future development to a country I loved so dearly, to the country I call home. At the head of PCRC, Velma Saric, an extraordinarily dedicated native, and Leslie Woodward, an American passionate about BiH, teamed up to create an organization that was both visible in the nation’s borders and impactful internationally. My internship with PCRC, Velma, Leslie and the rest of the team was one of the most incredible work experiences I have had thus far in my career.

Not only was this one of the most welcoming workplaces, it was also the most flexible yet productive positions I have ever had. I felt like we were constantly contributing something positive to Bosnia, and throughout that process I felt included and central in PCRC’s work. I had the chance to work on PCRC’s first UN conference on genocide prevention, attend and report on a rally the day Ratko Mladic was set to enter his plea at the ICTY, go to the 16th anniversary memorial service in Srebrenica, publish my reports and contribute to a successful youth-orientated conference about rescuers in times of crisis. One of the most important distinctions of this internship was just how hands-on the great leading ladies of PCRC allowed me to be – I gained so much from this experience, and I can say in all honesty that not a day has passed since this summer that I haven’t thought about the projects I worked on, the team I was a part of and the impact we made (and continue to make)! As a local who lives abroad, I can testify to the fact that PCRC is doing amazing work in Bosnia and I am forever grateful for the opportunity I had to work with them, and forever hopeful that I will always have a place with PCRC because I know in my heart that their journey will be a long and incredible one!

Christi Sletten

I am currently a Master’s candidate, studying conflict management, post-conflict reconstruction and humanitarian assistance at the University of Denver’s Josef Korbel School of International Studies in Colorado, with an emphasis on youth engagement and empowerment. Prior to going back to school, I worked as an educator at a Denver-area school, where I taught U.S. history, American government and economics to secondary students. During my six years as a teacher, I also engaged in curriculum alignment and development programs, as well as youth leadership training. In addition to my degree focus, my interests include disarmament, demobilization and reintegration, peacebuilding and genocide prevention, the responsibility to protect and the use of violence for human protection purposes, and international politics theory. Upon graduation, I hope to pursue further professional experience in my areas of interest and eventually earn a research-based Doctoral degree. I graduated from Colorado Christian University in 2004, with a Bachelor’s degree in European History, Religious Studies and Music Performance. I absolutely love Sarajevo, and am thrilled to be working with PCRC for the summer!

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Christi’s PCRC Internship Testimony

Having extensively studied post-conflict reconstruction and the country of Bosnia and Herzegovina in previous years, I was thrilled with the opportunity to work as an intern for the Post-Conflict Research Center during the summer of 2011. Despite being a new organization, I was thoroughly impressed by the developed reputation of PCRC and its co-founders in Sarajevo, as well as the network of incredible contacts that Velma Saric and Leslie Woodward have worked to establish. It was clear from the start of my work with PCRC that Velma and Leslie have an incredible vision for PCRC, and deeply desire to impact Bosnia and Herzegovina—the youth, in particular—in a lasting and meaningful capacity that will contribute to building the country’s peace infrastructure.

As part of the internship team of PCRC, I was tasked with helping to facilitate and coordinate events for the organization’s annual peacebuilding conference, “Picturing Moral Courage: Stories of Survival.” The conference, which brought together youth from the greater Balkans region and the international community at large, provided not only a chance to see the mission of PCRC in action, but also the opportunity to personally contribute to that mission. Additionally, Velma and Leslie encouraged the internship team to work independently to develop projects that will be implemented with youth in Bosnia and Herzegovina in the future. As a master’s student with previous professional experience, I appreciated the opportunity to combine teamwork with independent research and responsibility. Knowing that our work over the summer will affect PCRC’s future endeavors is encouraging, and only contributes to the value of my experience.

Kristi Roybal

I am currently a graduate student at the University of Denver pursuing a M.A. in International Human Rights and M.S.W. in community social work. My academic interests include the intersection of political economy and human rights, specifically environmental justice, cultural and natural resource management, and psychosocial implications for communities. I completed a B.A. in Psychology at Boston College, after which I participated in Jesuit Volunteer Corps: Northwest, a post-graduate volunteer program. I spent a year working in Juneau, Alaska, as a case manager at Juneau Youth Services, a comprehensive behavioral health provider for Alaskan youth. This past year, I completed a professional internship with Metro Organizations for People, a community based non-profit in the Denver Metro region. I worked with community organizers and parent leaders at a Denver public school to initiate and propel sustainable community change in both the school and broader community. I plan to pursue a PhD in the social sciences and become a community researcher and university level instructor.

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Kristi’s PCRC Internship Testimony

Strategic peace-building practices and the use of social and mass media are routes through which PCRC promotes and engages the process of sustainable reconciliation. During my internship, I provided logistical and photographic support for PCRC’s conference, Picturing Moral Courage: Stories of Survival. I also helped accumulate information about educational toolkits for documentary films.

My advice to a future intern here would be to be flexible, remember the simple things count, and keep your goals and vision within the context of helping the organization in whatever ways they need.

Alexandra Wald

I am currently pursuing my Masters degree in Social Work at the University of Denver, and received a BA in Sociology at the University of Colorado at Boulder in Colorado. My greatest passion in life is empowering others, particularly youth through establishing the necessary support structures for them to achieve success in life.

Before deciding to go back to school I worked for a 501(c)3 non-profit organization called the YESS Institute, developing and facilitating after school mentoring programs for at-risk youth in Southwest Denver. I then took a life-altering journey to South America for eleven months where I worked with youth in a marginalized area of the Caribbean port city called Santa Marta, Colombia. There I created two after school programs for youth who experienced the harsh civil war first hand. The vision was to inspire youth to make positive choices in their lives. Youth empowerment, social justice, human rights, early childhood development research, and program development through education are my primary interests. I look very forward to pursuing an internship this summer with PCRC in Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina.