|| Bosnia and
in 1991, although the number of the actual population is
much less than this number since there are many refugees
from nearby countries)
|| 51,000 k㎡ (1/7 of Japan)
Bosnian (48%), Serb (37.1%),Croat
(14.3%), other (0.6%) (2000)
|| Bosnian, Serbian, Croatian
Muslim, Orthodox, Roman
sources: Ministry of Foreign Affairs Official Web Site
of Croatia MAP
4,440,000 (sources: research
|| 56,542 k㎡ (4 times larger
Croat (89.6%), Serb (4.54%)
|| Croatian, Serbian, Other
Roman Catholic, Orthodox
sources: Ministry of Foreign Affairs Official Web Site
|| Serbia and
*Congress and governmental buildings are located in
Belgrade, however it is not stipulated in the Constitution.
|| 102.173 k㎡ (1/4 of Japan)
Serb, Montenegrin, Albanian
Orthodox, Muslim, Roman
sources: Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan Official Web Site
2. Situation of Conflict
The eruption of conflict, and the tragedy of
the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia
Following the death of President Tito (Josip Broz), who had
made efforts in maintaining the federal system of the country,
the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia was faced with the transition
from communism to democracy as well as a market economy. Such
dramatic change in the political and economic systems triggered
a sudden social instability.
As a result of this instability, there was a rapid emergence of
politicians in each republic who wished to increase their own power
by utilizing nationalism, which consequently led to the eruption
of conflict. People who had been living in peace with one another
were forced into a situation where they had no choice but to fight
with those who had long been their neighbors. It is said that 2,000,000
people were forced from their homes to became refugees or IDPs
(Internally Displaced Peoples), losing everything, and left with
3. Local Needs
Repetitive Conflict, and Unchanging Needs: “Psychological
Care and Assistance for Self Support”
In 1994, when JEN began its activities in the former Yugoslavia,
the conflict in Bosnia Herzegovina was still raging, and there
were many refugees in both Croatia and Serbia Montenegro. Holding
fears that they “would not be able to return home” in their protracting
lives as refugees, the refugees were in need of psychological
care and assistance for self support.
After the peace accord that was signed in December 1995, many
refugees and IDPs began to resettle in Bosnia. Needs to rebuild
people's lives therefore were high, as well as promote the return
In 1998, with the intensification of the Kosovo conflict, new
refugees and IDPs emerged. This was only exacerbated with the
NATO bombings, as more and more people newly became refugees
or IDPs in areas where aid was seldom.
Even after the latter half of 1999, when the conflict had finally
died down, problems remained in abundance: the reestablishment
and reconstruction of a land completely destroyed, the resettlement
of returnees, and the settling in of refugees in their respective
|2) Activities in
the Former Yugoslavia
1. JEN's Course of Action
By simultaneously opening 5 offices throughout Yugoslavia, we
were careful from the initial stages to provide support fairly
and from a neutral position. When commencing activities in Bosnia
Herzegovina, we did so with bases in both entities (the Federation
of Bosnia and Herzegovina, and the Republica Srpska).
We did not limit our support to refugees and IDPs, rather expanded
it to “those who were forced to live harsh lives” as a result
of the conflict, which included locals who had received the refugees,
as well as people who had chosen to remain in the lands of conflict.
In various places throughout the former Yugoslavia, we provided
support that was most suited and needed in each area at the time.
The JEN international staff mainly only coordinated, while we
chose local psychologists, social workers, architects, vets,
and technicians to carry out the projects. We were therefore
able to conduct a wide range of activities.
2. Previous projects
【 Psychosocial Project, Children's Theatres, and Distribution
of “Dream Bags” 】
Ex.) Psychosocial Project (Croatia, Serbia and
Montenegro, Bosnia and Herzegovina)
Refugees who do not know if they can ever return to their homes.
Returnees who are faced with the harsh reality of rebuilding
their lives from scratch. It takes time to overcome the loss
of family and possessions from conflict alone; these people were
faced with much, much more.
Targeting such people carrying various anxieties and sorrows,
we conducted group therapy workshops aimed at psychological care.
People from a wide range of age groups attended, and engaged
in activities that had the highest number of requests from each
community center; for example, knitting, sports, and painting,
among others. For those who had stayed locked up inside their
homes, the first step is the biggest, and also the most difficult.
One aim of these activities was to provide a few moments in the
people's lives when they could forget their sorrows. They were
able to support each other and share their troubles, as well
as information about daily life and repatriation with others
who had gone through much like themselves.
Ex.) Children's Theatre
This was one of the first projects we started in 1994.
With the help of a local children's theatre in Osijek,
we were able to hold many performances at local refugee/IDP
centers, NGO community centers, as well as the children's
theatre itself. The parody version of “Little Red Riding
Hood” was a great hit among the children, and was able
to provide a moment when they could forget the difficult
reality of their lives as refugees.