On 26 January, the Alliance for Peacebuilding (AfP) has Velma Šarić as the winner of AfP’s Inaugural Local Peacebuilder Award. Velma is from Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH) and the founder and President of the Post-Conflict Research Center, an AfP member as well as a GAAMAC member. Velma has over 20 years experience working in BiH as a researcher, journalist, peacebuilding expert, and a human rights defender.
“The AfP inaugural Local Peacebuilder Award inspires my team with hope and we are humbled by this recognition. This award occurs at a fortuitous moment when Bosnia and Herzegovina and the Western Balkans are confronted with increasing conflict dynamics, ethnic tensions, and war crimes glorification,” said Velma Šarić.
She added: “this award is also an affirmation of the PCRC mission and I dedicate this award to the exceptionally talented team represented by Bosnian youth, our supporters, advisors, allies, and donors who believe in us.”
Liz Hume, AfP’s Executive Director, stated: “Velma and PCRC are an amazing example of locally-led peacebuilding organizations that understand the local conflict dynamics and know how to address them through storytelling and education. Although BiH has avoided full-scale war since 1995, in 2021 the country was again experiencing an ethnic crisis and Velma and PCRC’s work is instrumental to prevent and reduce this crisis and build long-term peace in BiH at all levels of society. They were also critical in assisting us to understand the conflict dynamics and how to help at the international level.”
The Alliance for Peacebuilding is a nonpartisan global network to end violent conflict and build sustainable peace.