In the country of its very inception, the War Childhood Museum hosts its permanent exhibition devoted to the experiences of individuals whose childhoods have been affected by the armed conflict in Bosnia-Herzegovina. Today, the Museum houses over 3000 artifacts of intrinsic value, all acquired through personal donations. In addition, the Museum also produced over 200 hours of oral history video testimonies. Preservation of all artefacts is at the utmost priority which is why the Museum focuses on its long-term preservation, digitalization, cataloging, and access efforts.

While the Museum continues to expand its Bosnian collection, it also implemented several topic-specific research projects such as Children and Genocide project implemented in collaboration with the Srebrenica Memorial Center. This was the first systematic effort to document the Srebrenica Genocide from children’s perspective. Extensive project resulted in over 70 hours of video testimonies and more than 100 documented personal stories.

The collection is preserved for exhibition, research, and education purposes. Through its permanent exhibition based in Sarajevo, the Museum aims to:

  • Provide valuable insight into children’s perspectives on the experience of war and the recollection of their memories as adults.
  • Help individuals overcome past traumatic experiences and prevent traumatization of others by:
  1. Providing them with an opportunity to share their personal stories, as sharing their stories may support their healing processes.
  2. Enabling them to connect with others who have had similar experiences, which could help them feel less alienated and increase their sense of belonging to a greater community.

Collection materials are regularly utilized for research purposes by social scientists and scholars all over the world. Recognizing the educational value of teaching about peace, the Museum regularly hosts educational workshops for students of all ages to explore, question, and learn about importance of peace by utilizing collection materials. In Bosnia and Herzegovina, the Museum worked with hundreds of educational institutions and welcomed thousands of high school, primary school, and pre-school students.

I was a refugee, too

They were already shooting on the city… One night, dad came home and said, “Tomorrow you are going to the seaside!” I packed my suitcase: bathing suit, sandals, and diary. We are going to the seaside! In the morning my brother, mom, aunt, and I joined the convoy that was leaving the city. We are going to the seaside… Men with black masks stopped the convoy. They held us hostage for three days. Would I ever see the sea again? Two months later, I arrived in the Netherlands, where I have remained. All of my memories are in this suitcase.

Iva, b. 1981