Reconciliation and Culture Cooperative Network
RACCOON works within a framework of basic human needs to address a culture of violence experienced in the Western Balkans. We focus on communal healing, sharing the tools and resources necessary to have a positive influence on the shaping of our communities. We share stories and utilize dialogue, advocacy, arts and sports to reach out to, and bring together, people committed to conflict transformation across and within ethnic and state borders, who are working toward a more peaceful society.
In the wake of the recent breakup of Yugoslavia and the brutal war in Bosnia, the post-yugoslav societies are at a crossroads. Though reconstruction from the recent Balkan Wars is already underway, conflict and tension remain. The primary victims of the various war propaganda emanating from the various post-yugoslav societies involved, are the children who have come of age during this 8-year-old conflict. For a lasting, and meaningful peace, reconciliation is necessary.
Considering the extent of the atrocities committed, reconciliation requires much cooperation and communication between people that now belong to different or new nations. These different nations are being led by politicians that espouse "warhawk" philosophy, as well as fervent nationalism, to get elected and re-elected. Through their bully pulpits and strong influence on the media, they are stirring further resentment, harnessing history for their own short-sighted goals, and doing very little rapproachment and reconciliation.
It is in this context that RACCOON wants to find ways of fostering reconciliation, with the ultimate goal of building a civil society.