United World Project


HeARTmony in Bosnia with Gen Rosso

16 August 2022   |   , ,

From the 25th of July to the 1st of August, the Gen Rosso band has returned to Bosnia with the interns of the HeARTmony, born to form some youth to the social inclusion methodologies for the migrants and refugees through art, strengthen the intercultural skills and reflect on the effects and causes of the migrations in the Mediterranean basin.

« The approach is that of “not of bread alone”. – Explains Valerio Gentile, part of the international band, Gen Rosso. – The goal of this project is that of valuing talents, promoting wellbeing and social inclusion of these people defined as “people on the move” ».

The project to which Valerio refers to is called “HeARTmony”, a word composed of heart, art and harmony. Which then – thinking about it – are also the main ingredients of the project! Financed by the European Commission through the ban “Capacity building in the field of youth”, it is born to strengthen the intercultural skills of the young participants, to help them develop social inclusion methodologies for the migrants and refugees of all ages through art and explore the causes and effects of the migrations in the Mediterranean basin.

The main partner of the project, apart from the international band Gen Rosso, are the international association New Humanity and the cultural association, Dancelab Armonia. And then, other five European realities and of the Middle East: The Fundación Igino Giordani (Spain), Humanité Nouvelle (Lebanon), Caritas Lebanon (Lebanon), Caritas Egypt (Egypt), Caritas Banja Luka (Bosnia and Herzegovina) in collaboration with the J.R.S of Bihać.

Thanks to this project, held from the 25th of July to the 1st of August, fourteen young interns, coming from Spain, Egypt, Syria, Bosnia and Italy, were able to leave for the first formation scheduled in Bosnia and Herzegovina. Criteria to access: past experience in the field of performing arts.

The first destination was the Youth Centre Giovanni Paolo II of Sarajevo. Here, a team of the Gen Rosso worked in collaboration with the “Social Corner” an initiative desired by Pope Francis, wherein local volunteers animate the days of the guests in the various refugee’s camps. «We held the first part of the course with some theory, – narrated Gentile – exploring especially the relational aspect: how we relate, how do we create a work group, how to strengthen the self – esteem of the migrants, how we bring out their talents, how we can help them become passive spectators to protagonist actors». The second part of the course, more practical, was held in the Ušivak camp on the outskirts of Sarajevo, that accommodates families, unaccompanied minors and youth, coming from Algeria, Afghanistan, Iran, Burundi, as well as Cuba. «Just like this. Because – Valerio clarifies – the migration route for Cubans is: Havana-Moscow, Moscow-Belgrade. To then reach Sarajevo by foot and from there continue to Bihać, where they try to cross the border to Europe».

With them, the Gen Rosso has conducted some dance, choral singing, percussion and communication workshops. Experience that culminated in the performances on the third day. The first at the camp, where some migrants were able to perform in front of their neighbours, taking turns on stage with Gen Rosso. The second, in the gym of the Youth Centre Giovanni Paolo II of Sarajevo, with the inclusion, during the concert, of 24 refugees of the dance, singing and percussion workshops. «In the end, one of them told us: “You’ll have given me the hope go ahead in my journey!” » Valerio remembers with some emotion.

Then, the Gen Rosso and the interns moved to Bihać, on the border between Bosnia and Herzegovina and Croatia. «In collaboration with the Jesuit Refugee Service we worked in preparation for the show held on Sunday, with some of the refugees of the informal camps… bivouacs, abandoned houses. They were a few of them, to be honest, because of the pleasant days most of them would try to cross the mountain and the border – explains Valerio – and also from, this we learn a lot».

In the end, on Sunday, 31st of July, the Gen Rosso and refugees performed in the concert “Una”, organized in collaboration with the municipality of Bihać, and born from the will to sustain and encourage the city and local population that continues to persevere in the welcoming of refugees. “Una” like the river that flows, alongside the border between Croatia and Bosnia, and symbolically unites both the countries.

The next stop for “HeARTmony?

The participants will be called to realize, within the month of October 2023, atleast 2 workshops to demonstrate their acquisition of the technical, social and intercultural skills mentioned in the project.

In the meantime, the project continues with another call. From the 30th of August to the 4th of September, at Beirut, in Lebanon, a formation course for the interreligious and intercultural dialogue will take place, promoted by the association Humanité Nouvelle Libano.

For further details and other updates, visit the site of the ONG  New Humanity.