On Saturday March 1st, Peacemaker Friar Ivo Markovic returned to Bosnia from a week of trainings in Jordan. Like fellow Peacemaker Nozizwe Madlala-Routledge, Ivo spent the week working with Hind Kabawat, Tanenbaum’s Peacemaker in Action from Syria, to train a new generation of Syrian peace activists dedicated to rebuilding civil society in a post-war Syria.
During the trainings, Friar Ivo encouraged the Syrian activists to help end the war by accessing their inner strength and enabling others who are longing for peace to do the same. For the activists, Ivo’s message was more than just words. Ivo’s trainings came from his own experience leading reconciliation efforts in the midst of violent sectarian conflict that followed the break-up of Yugoslavia in 1992. Like the Syrian activists, Ivo faced numerous threats to his life during the conflict, but stayed the course for peace. Though Bosnia still has its share of conflict, the bloodshed has ended and residents are working for a better future together.
For the Syrian activists, Ivo was a real-life example that demonstrated that peace is possible, even in the direst of circumstances.