BE THERE FOR YOUR CHILDREN EVEN WHEN THEY MAKE MISTAKES
The final event and online graduation ceremony for MothersSchools participants took place on March 12th.
Program MothersSchools: Parenting for Peace has been implemented in partnership with the Austrian organization Women Without Borders (WwB). The main goal of the project is to sensitize mothers for preventing and combating extreme and violent behavior in young people. It includes a series of weekly workshops connecting mothers to share their experiences, discuss concerns, learn from each other, and discover their power as parents to bring peaceful solutions to common problems affecting youth. More than 40 mothers from Podgorica, Tuzi and Nikšić improved their parenting skills through this program.
During the event, participants had an opportunity to hear experiences of mothers as well as representatives of local organizations, international community and institutions dealing with this topic.
“Families are essential to providing solutions and we see this especially in these challenging times of the pandemic. I would like to congratulate you all and praise your courage to open a conversation on the issue of violent extremism which is still highly stigmatized. You are now part of an international movement of mothers who are changing the security narrative through their personal stories of resilience”, said Edit Schlaffer, founder and CEO of Women Without Borders.
Elvira Hadžibegović Bubanja, Forum MNE Executive Director, addressed the participants at the event opening as well:
“By working on the prevention of radicalization and extremism leading to violence, we are creating the basis for a democratic and multicultural society, in which young people will be able to build their future.”
Researches have shown that young people are increasingly being targeted by extremist groups. At the moment, entire Europe is facing this growing danger.
State Secretary of the Ministry of the Interior, Rade Milošević highlighted importance of cooperation with the civil sector in countering violent extremism and radicalism.
“Countering violent extremism and radicalism is one of the most important topics of the Ministry of Internal Affairs. In this regard, I would like to emphasize that we appreciate everything that has been done so far in this area, and that we will be a partner for everything that follows”, Milošević concluded.
Irfan Saeed, Acting Deputy Coordinator for Terrorist Detentions and Prevention at the U.S. Department of State’s Counterterrorism Bureau, said: “Engaging families is a crucial component of the United States’ efforts to safeguard communities from violent extremism, and mothers represent a vital, indispensable link in the whole-of-community approach to prevention efforts.”
Addressing to participants, Georgia Holmer, Head of the Action against Terrorism Unit at the OSCE Secretariat, said: ‘‘It’s imperative that we continue to create spaces and opportunities for women to participate fully in societies and promote the critical role they play in building peace. What we know for certain, through research in many countries, is that communities are safer, and peace more sustainable if women are fully empowered and engaged.’’
“MothersSchool is a great example of dialogue”, said in a video message Anna Janković, the Austrian Ambassador to Montenegro. She congratulated MothersSchools’ participants, Forum MNE as well as Women Without Borders on a successful project.
“This program is a great example of dialogue – dialogue between Austria and Montenegro, dialogue between civil society organizations, between MothersSchools teachers and participants, as well as the future teachers and participants. It is also a good example of women empowerment”, concluded Janković.
The opening remarks were followed by a short panel discussion during which the experiences of MothersSchools participants were shared. The panel guests were Sabra Decević, MotherSchools teacher in Tuzi, Ajša Đečević, member of the school implementation team in Tuzi and Podgorica, and Snežana Pejović, participant of the school in Podgorica. They emphasized the importance of family, especially parents in preventing and combating violent extremism.
“Be supportive of your children, talk to them as much as possible about different things, listen to them and try your best to understand them. Respect their decisions and be there for them even when they make mistakes” concluded Decević.
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