History

EFP began its work in June 2000 by launching a two-year pilot project of Education for Peace in three primary and three secondary schools in Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH), with the participation of some 400 teachers and school staff, 6,000 students and their parents/guardians.

Through much effort, the project gained the support of education ministries, municipal leaders, and international authorities in BiH. The primary aim of the project was to create a culture of peace, a culture of healing, and a culture of excellence within and among the participating school communities representing the three main ethnic populations—Bosniak (Muslim), Croat (Catholic), and Serb (Orthodox Christianity)—in the highly conflicted post-war Bosnia and Herzegovina.

The pilot program yielded significant positive results and gained the recognition and endorsement of all participating school communities, the BiH Ministry of Foreign Affairs, all thirteen BiH Ministries of Education and eight Pedagogical Institutes, as well as the International Community in BiH, including the Office of the High Representative and the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe. The BiH government subsequently invited EFP-International to create a strategy for introduction of its programs in all schools in the country.

Between 2004 and 2008 (2nd phase), EFP was introduced to some 112 schools with approximately 80,000 students; 5,000 teachers, school staff, and administrators; and thousands of parents/guardians. Since 2008 (beginning of the 3rd phase), plans have been underway to incorporate the EFP Curriculum into the BiH education reform process, thus involving all 2,200+ schools with about 1.5 million students and 110,000 teachers and school staff in the study of all subjects from grades 1 through 12 within the parameters of peace. This phase of the EFP program is projected to last until December 2011.

As this process evolves, the government and peoples of BiH can set an historic example by adopting the goal of educating all their children and youth, in every new generation, within the framework of the universal principles of peace, so that as adults, they become peacemakers, both as citizens and leaders of their country.

Parallel with the implementation of the EFP in BiH, EFP also introduced its programs to a small number of schools and communities in Canada and the United States, and trained several students from around the globe in the principles of Education for Peace.