New York City Teens Study Media and Peacebuilding in Bosnia

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NEW YORK, May 8, 2013 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- A group of 18 New York City public high school students will travel to Bosnia and Herzegovina to explore media and society in collaboration with Bosnian peers, June 26–July 19. The students participate in Global Kids (, an award-winning, non-profit educational organization that promotes global learning and youth development.

Amidst the cultural heritage of the capital Sarajevo, the group will meet local leaders, activists and artists. They will also see the progress that has been made in rebuilding the divided city of Mostar. The bulk of time will be spent in Sanski Most, living with families and engaging in dialogue and community projects alongside Bosnian peers.

The three week trip to Bosnia and Herzegovina is made possible by a grant from U.S. Department of State's American Youth Leadership Program (AYLP) as part of efforts to empower youth worldwide. The exchange aims to demonstrate the power of citizen diplomacy, the importance of intercultural understanding, and the role of media in conflict, peacebuilding and social change.

In collaboration with their Bosnian peers, Global Kids will engage in local service-learning activities and conduct social media projects to advance dialogue and community building. The program will encourage participants to reflect on the role they can play in creating positive change through a wide range of mediums, harnessing the power of technology and social media to report and share views.

"I'm really looking forward to this program because I would like to share the commonalities and embrace the differences between the culture and traditions of the United States and the culture and traditions of Bosnia and Herzegovina. Upon my return home I would like to incorporate some of these differences into my everyday life," says Paulina Jedrzejowski, a participating student from Curtis High School on Staten Island.

"It's going to provide me with the opportunity to learn about the present post-war society and culture of Bosnia by actually living with a Bosnian family," says Alexandra Galdi, a student at Notre Dame School of Manhattan.

"Being part of AYLP Bosnia will give me the opportunity to practice my leadership skills and learn the qualities of how to be a global citizen. By communicating with other youth from Bosnia, I will gain knowledge in how media affects the perspective of young people in a country impacted by ethnic division," says Angel Suqui, a student at W.C. Bryant High School in Queens.

Other students in the initiative attend school at: Long Island City High School (Queens); John Adams High School (Queens); The High School for Global Citizenship (Brooklyn); and School for Democracy and Leadership, Wingate Campus (Brooklyn).

"Global Kids has a long history in this region. In Croatia we've conducted peer education workshops with displaced and local Croatian, Bosnian and Serbian youth in community centers and refugee camps. We've also led efforts aimed at peace building, democracy, youth empowerment and civic engagement," says Evie Hantzopoulos, executive director, Global Kids.

Global Kids will implement AYLP-Bosnia in partnership with Global Youth Connect, a U.S.-based human rights organization, and the Center for Peacebuilding, an organization that works with young people to nurture trust and mutual understanding in Sanski Most.

Global Kids, Inc.—the premier non-profit educational organization for global learning and youth development—works to ensure that urban youth have the knowledge, skills, experiences and values they need to succeed in school, participate effectively in the democratic process, and achieve leadership in their communities and on the global stage.

The U.S. State Department's Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs promotes international mutual understanding through a wide range of academic, cultural, professional, and sports exchange programs.

CONTACT: MEDIA CONTACT: Adam Shapiro 202-427-3603

Source:Global Kids, Inc.