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Project SEKA / "Kuca SEKA"

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ON PROJECT SEKA

The Women's Peace Project SEKA (Kuca SEKA= House SEKA) is a Center for Therapy, Education and Recreation for women and children from the region of the Former Yugoslavia.

SEKA was founded in 1997 as result of the long lasting cooperation of women from Hamburg / Germany with anti-nationalist women's groups in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Serbia and Slovenia - during the wars following the collapse of Yugoslavia. The project's name "SEKA" derives from the Serbo-Croatian word "seka" = "beloved sister" and symbolizes women's solidarity from which the project arose.

After 10 years of work on the Adriatic Island of Brac the project moved to the town of Gorazde in Bosnia and Herzegovina in summer 2007.

The bearing organization of the project now is the women's association "Udruzenje zena ‘SEKA’ Gorazde" (Women's Association ‘SEKA’ Gorazde), which cooperates closely with the German association "SEKA Hamburg e.V.". Since the founding of Kuca SEKA in 1997 SEKA Hamburg e.V. mainly cares about fundraising for the project.

BACKGROUND

Even 19 years after the end of war through the Dayton-agreement the population in Bosnia and Herzegovina still suffers from the psychological and social consequences of war. As usually women and children were the main victims also in this war. Especially women and girls suffered from rape and other severe violations of their physical and mental integrity.

The population of the town of Gorazde passed specific severe war traumatization - people suffered from almost four years lasting siege, shelling, and hunger. Children were - as in all wars - the most helpless and vulnerable victims. A big number of them still today are struggling with their experiences in war, as after war there was no possibility for psychotherapeutic aid in the whole Kanton (department) Gorazde.

But also children, having been born after war, grow up in an atmosphere, in which the war and the survived traumas are always present. The traumas of parents and grandparents are transferred to them.

Besides the lack of an economic perspective and of a political and constitutional frame guaranting human rights and justice for everyone, people - especially in rural areas - are missing adequate psychological and psycho-educative support, which could help them to overcome their traumatic experiences and to gain new courage for life. As a consequence the traumas of a big part of the whole population cause destabilization and new conflicts between the different "entities" (population groups) in the whole area.

THE PEACE-ORIENTED THERAPEUTIC APPROACH OF PROJECT SEKA

As an answer to these needs we developed during 10 years of work a specific peace-oriented therapeutic approach. This approach underlines the importance to overcome individual and collective traumas and to support mutual understanding between the different "entities" by furthering a "Culture of Dialogue" - as a precondition for the establishing of a democratic, just and peaceful society.

Besides this it includes the work on consciousness-raising concerning the topics of trauma and trauma-consequences, of violence and especially the sensitization towards gender-based discrimination and violence (sexism).

The project's work therefore concentrates on (trauma-)therapeutic work with women as well as therapeutic-pedagogic group- and individual work with children and youngsters, who suffer from primary, secondary or trans-generational trauma. It emphasizes further the empowerment of women and girls and the sensitization of men and boys.

Another important aspect of SEKA's peace-oriented therapeutic approach represents the work with multiplicators: therapeutic support, trainings and supervision for professional colleagues and psycho-social volunteers.

‘KUCA SEKA’ BRAC 1997 - 2007

In 10 years of project work on the Island of Brac SEKA realized a dense program offering psychological help, trainings and recreation for colleagues and activists from other (women's) organizations and institutions as well as for war traumatized women and children or survivors of other forms of violence.

From July 1997 to July 2007 altogether 1638 women and children from more than 150 organizations from Bosnia-Herzegovina (Federation and Republika Srpska), Croatia, Slovenia, Serbia, Macedonia and Albania participated in the programs offered in SEKA house on Brac.

Besides this we responded to a new challenge: In February 2006 we have started to train also male colleagues and volunteers for psychological and psycho-social treatment of war traumatized veterans - through a pilot-project in Gorazde (East Bosnia) in co-operation with the veterans' organization "Svjetlost Drine" (Gorazde).

‘KUCA SEKA’ GORAZDE

In autumn 2006 it showed that (for financial reasons and lack of staff) we could not continue with our project work (with mainly stationary programs) on the Island of Brac. Being aware of the still huge need for the specific programs of SEKA - especially in Bosnia-Herzegovina - we decided to move with the project to Bosnia-Herzegovina.

We have chosen Gorazde as location for the project from various reasons: On one hand the population of the former "UN protection-zone Gorazde" is severely war traumatized, and on the other hand Gorazde is one of the weakest Kantons (departments) in Bosnia-Herzegovina - with very poor infrastructure and a very low level of psychological and psycho-social care. A third aspect is the high reputation which SEKA gained through the work with the veterans during the pilot-project, which gives a good basis for the acceptance towards project SEKA in Gorazde.

In march 2007 a group of engaged and highly motivated women in Gorazde founded the "Women's Associaton SEKA Gorazde" as bearing organisation for the project "Kuca SEKA Gorazde"

Thanks to a generous loan of one of our supporters in May 2007 we could acquire a suitable house for the centre. In July we removed with the project from Brac to Gorazde and finally celebrated the start of the project's work in Gorazde on September 12th 2007.

Actual Programs of SEKA Gorazde

From September 2007 up to September 2014 altogether 1.053 women, children, colleagues and veterans participated (in an average for 54 hours each) in different programs of the SEKA-project in Gorazde, in Albania, in Serbia and Libanon.

These programs include:

FURTHER INFORMATION:

Kuca SEKA Gorazde,
Ul. Ibrahima Popovica 49,
73000 Gorazde,
Bosnia and Herzegovina
Tel. / Fax: 00387-38-222 099
e-mail: sekago@bih.net.ba

BANK ACCOUNT OF SEKA GORAZDE:

SEKA Udruzenje zena Gorazde, Ul. Ibrahima Popovica br. 49, 73000 Gorazde, BiH
Raiffeisenbank D.D. Bosna i Hercegovina
Adress of the bank: Zmaja od Bosne BB, Sarajevo, BiH
S.W.I.F.T. / BIC- Code: RZBABA2S
IBAN: BA391610300005880039

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