This Sunday, Merima Razanica, the Educational Activities Coordinator at the War Childhood Museum (WCM), hosted a webinar titled “Voices of Children & Youth” for teachers and educators worldwide. The lecture was part of a webinar series addressing historical and peace education issues organized by the Educators Institute for Human Rights.
At the outset of her presentation, Razanica provided an overview of the WCM mission and vision, underscoring the Museum’s dedication to peacebuilding across its activities: research, exhibitions, and education. She particularly highlighted the educational activities conducted by the Museum throughout the year.
“All our activities are grounded in the experiences of those whose childhood or youth was marked by war. We believe that to strengthen tolerance, respect diversity, and counter discrimination, it is essential to amplify young people’s and children’s voices, often unfairly neglected in discussions about armed conflicts,” emphasized Razanica. She added that WCM has developed a specialized methodology for working with sensitive societal categories, including children growing up in post-conflict societies.
“Recently, WCM launched the Peace and Justice Education Resource Center which is accessible on our website. It is a comprehensive, inclusive, and free resource platform for building peace and justice, intended for educators worldwide. The center aims to connect a rich museum collection, which includes over 6000 objects and testimonies from 18 different armed conflicts, with educational processes in subjects such as history, democracy, geography, language, etc., in order to create the possibility of a more humane and integrative approach to peace education,” explained Razanica.
The Center currently features ten initially suggested activity plans for different age groups, based on video testimonies and diverse museum exhibits – from diaries to letters and items that comforted children during the war. Each proposed plan offers defined objectives and outcomes, enabling educators to assess whether the material aligns with their teaching goals immediately. Additionally, it indicates the duration of each activity plan and the materials needed for its implementation in the classroom. WCM will continuously publish new activity plans, including a “Teachers for Teachers” section with materials developed by teachers and educators worldwide using the War Childhood Museum collection.
Speaking of methodologies, Razanica emphasized the importance and advantages of object-based learning. “The greatest strength of personal objects and memories in the context of history lies in their power to create a more personal connection between a historical event and children learning about it from a certain temporal or physical distance. Unlike traditional learning methods, which rely on personal items and memories of those who survived armed conflict, it stimulates a much deeper understanding of the issues in children. It influences their empathy and offers them a more comprehensive knowledge of past events,” added Razanica.
In conclusion, Razanica pointed out that the Peace and Justice Education Resource Center of the War Childhood Museum will continue to evolve in line with the expansion of the museum collection, feedback from educators implementing the proposed activity plans in their classes, and depending on circumstances worldwide.
Learn more about the WCM Peace and Justice Education Resource Center HERE.