Derry and Strabane leaders return from Bosnia-Herzegovina fact finding mission
21 March 2023
Civic and political leaders from the Derry City and Strabane District Council area have returned from a fact finding visit to Bosnia-Herzegovina which included a visit to the site of the genocide at Srebrenica.
The purpose of the trip was to learn more about the country’s peace building efforts and to explore how diversity and power sharing have been managed there.
Working with Remembering Srebrenica, a charity based in Birmingham, the 18 strong delegation will hold a final learning and sharing session on Friday 24th March 2023.
The programme is an initiative of Derry City and Strabane District Council, supported by The Executive Office.
Delegation member Philip McKinney, an Alliance Councillor for the Waterside area, described the trip as life changing.
“To meet the people and organisations we met but especially to spend so much time with the Mothers of Srebrenica, reinforced to all of us what horrors they experienced and the consequences that they live with every day,” he said.
“It also reinforced how important it is to challenge racism and sectarianism day and daily.
“The visit was life-changing in a positive and life-enhancing way.
“The programme will re-open for new applications from civic and political leaders from the district during the summer.
“I would strongly recommend people put their name forward.
“The lessons learned will be invaluable to the district as we go forward.”
Denise Wright from Remembering Srebrenica in Northern Ireland was a guide on the trip she added:
“This was a terrific programme with a wonderful group of people from Derry City and Strabane.
“The visit is really appreciated by people in Bosnia and Srebrenica who value greatly the fact that they were able to share their experiences with the participants.
“More importantly I think our people come back with a changed perspective on issues that divide us and a renewed determination to challenge racism and sectarianism.”
A new programme will open during early summer and civic and political leaders are encouraged to apply.
For further information on Remembering Srebrenica visit: www.srebrenica.org.uk/