Recovery from calamity does not involve restoration of the status quo but instead requires development of pathways leading forward to possible and preferred futures. In response to both man made and natural disasters, individuals and collectives face the challenge of “What now? What next?” given all that is damaged, lost or irrevocably changed. We are witness to profound and unanticipated disruptions of all sorts playing out again and again around the globe. Compelling questions and concerns arising from this stream of disasters include: what helps people cope with disaster? What aids in recovery? What factors support capacity for individuals and communities to build positive futures ‘out of the ashes’? This presentation considers personal narratives of those whose lives were interrupted by war, focusing on their views of how, out of loss and disruption, they have found positive paths forward, developing successful and meaningful lives.
In a moderated panel discussion, 5 individuals of varying ages whose lives were swept up in the chaos of the Balkan Wars will share personal narratives and then discuss the influence of various factors they perceive as relevant to re-establishing equilibrium, success and meaning following the unwelcome and traumatic interruption of war. Among the factors considered: personal characteristics, family and community context, age at which war disrupted/impacted their lives, opportunities for action, resources and support/aid from others, conscious strategies of recovery, sense of meaning and self determination, perceived role of serendipity or luck and role of faith and/or the realm of the spiritual. purpose of fostering multi-ethnic community building in the region.
Professor Dinka Corkalo Birusk Of the University of Zagreb, features her findings and recommendations in relation to the presenting challenges of schooling in ethnically divided postconflict communities. ‘The experiences of post-conflict societies show that the process of trust building and normalization of social life is slower and more demanding than the material renewal’ says Professor Biruski. She maintains that ‘this process is especially difficult in divided communities where ethnicity plays a key role in shaping community social dynamics’. As a result of the recent war, the city of Vukovar (Croatia) turned into the ethnically divided community where even schools became divided along the ethnic lines. By being divided in the schools and not encouraged to communicate outside the school,children are prevented from having contacts, which is basic condition for normalization of inter-group relations.
Gender based violence (GBV) is complex and reflects interactive processes from several levels of social ecology: individual characteristics of perpetrators and victims, family dynamics, influences from the proximal social context, effective identification of violence, legal framework, efficiency of repressive responses towards perpetrators, protection and support of victims systems, practice and norms of the professional systems, and societal values. The harm of GBV and domestic violence (DV) affect children’s short and long term development, psychosocial functioning in adulthood, partner relations in the present and future families, parent- children relations, physical and psychological consequences of exposure to violence, high economic costs of violence.
Social work is broad discipline, incorporating a wide range of different perspectives and theories such as sociology, psychology, social anthropology, political sciences and others. Theories drawn from these disciplines are important for the development of social work theory and practice, offering heterogeneous interpretative framework for social work theory building. They are ranging from micro, individually based approaches dealing with the questions of interaction, communication, or networks between individuals, towards macro approaches focusing on power relationships and social change by and for individuals, groups and communities and within social agencies (Staub-Bernasconi 2009).
Bosnia and Herzegovina is a country whose population suffered from multiple traumas during the four years of the war. Besides direct consequences of psychological trauma of war, which has been presented after the war, there has been a new traumatic situation which occurs as a direct or indirect consequence of war. Psychosocial model of Vive Žene is based on the understanding that healing of trauma is a multidimensional, longterm process which includes working on three levels.
Dr. Piotr Salustowicz raises the question of what constitutes a civil society and what role social economy can play in societies which are in transition, when it comes to dealing with
In the 1990s Svetlana Broz, granddaughter of former Yugoslav head of state Marshal Tito, volunteered her services as a physician in war-torn Bosnia. She discovered that her patients were not only in need of medical care, but that they urgently had a story to tell, a story suppressed by nationalist politicians and the mainstream media.