PRECEDE – Partnership for Reconciliation through Early Childhood Education and Development in Europe (2012-2016)

PRECEDE – Partnership for Reconciliation through Early Childhood Education and Development in Europe (2012-2016) will build peace and reconciliation through work with young children in the region of the Western Balkans and Europe. In the initial two-year phase the partners are: Pomoc deci (Belgrade), Partnerë për Fëmijët (Tirana), Center for Civil Initiatives (Zagreb), First Children’s Embassy in the World Medjashi (Skopje), Balkan
Sunflowers (Prishtina) and Early Years (Belfast).
PRECEDE invites all public and private institutions, organizations, NGOs, expert individuals, policy-makers, children and their families, service providers, practitioners, and communities to participate in this exciting initiative.

What is our aim? To build and strengthen the capacities of civil society organizations to assist peace-building and reconciliation through work with young children in the Western Balkans and Europe.

Why peace-building and reconciliation with young children? Violence against a young child is both a violation, today, of her or his rights and, according to UNICEF, one of the best predictors of experiencing violence in later life either as a victim or as an aggressor. This is true for both the young children who are targets of violence, and those who witness it (Van Leer Foundation 2010:5)1. Neuroscience has provided much evidence in recent years of the permanent damage to brain development caused by
violence and neglect in the very early years of life. Mitigating this damage by
preventing domestic and political conflict and violence can have a long- term

What do we mean by peace-building and reconciliation? All the activities that could help build an inclusive society where children and adults respect diversity. This will include building capacity to learn empathy and unlearn prejudice to strengthen gender equality and promote equal inclusion of people from different faiths, capacities, ethnic, social or any other backgrounds.
Peace-building is understood as the process of resolving conflict and establishing sustainable peace. However, the definition of peace building, used in this programme focuses beyond violence prevention to maximization of justice, equality and harmony.

What do we mean by early childhood education and development?
Given that peace cannot be achieved without social justice, it is necessary to address the direct and indirect or structural causes of violence. Term early childhood education and development refers to the development, care and education of young children and includes both the child and the context in which children live and grow – growth, nutrition, communication, play, health, safety and security, care, socialisation, participation and informal and formal learning.
Who do we mean by “young children” in this programme? Children from birth to eight years of age.

Results achieved during first phase: 15 Civil Society organisations, and 10 Local education institution working with young children have been involved in each of the three Country level Networks on Monitoring, Action Research and Programmatic Toolkit. Through capacity building trainings, 12 members have worked on development of tools to implement on monitoring, 15 members of the Working Group on Advocacy and 10 preschool teachers have been trained on Regional Programmatic Outline
The Networks at country level and PRECEDE Regional Network is linked to the International Network of Young Children in Conflict and Post-Conflict Countries through exchanging tools and instruments to be implemented in each context under each component. Such, the International Toolkit has been piloted in the first phase of piloting.
3 Organisations have already participated in training organised at the Regional Level on procedures to meet the requirements of ISO Certificate and other organisations will be involved in the process of trainings at a national level in the second phase