Once again, in 2023, two young people from V-Europe were able to join in Project COMMON BOND. For six days, the organization Tuesday's Children welcomed them to the beautiful Bryn Mawr college in Philadelphia. Young people aged 15 to 21 from around the world were present, all with the link of having lost a loved one in a mass violence event. As in previous years, many countries were represented, among them Northern Ireland, Spain, Iraq, Uganda, Lebanon, Palestine, Bosnia and Herzegovina. For the first time, representatives from New Zealand joined the program, enriching the human experience even more.
The symbolic value of this project is to bring the voices and needs of an entire community into the spotlight, at the forefront of an international agenda. Victims, survivors of terrifying acts that have claimed the lives of hundreds of people. Project Common Bond provides the opportunity to study, in more depth, the impact of traumatic events on young people at a global and international level. Participants were able to share life experiences with other participants and discover aspects of their personalities and cultures.
Organised activities offered a safe space to members of a young generation impacted by mass violence, terrorist attacks, war crimes etc … Through art, drama, music, dance, sport, peacebuilding workshops, and some evening entertainment, they were completely immersed in a community that understands their struggles, doubts, fears, sadness and joy. Despite the highly individual and personal mechanism of the healing process which is related to major traumatic incidents, each participant is able to contribute in a collective dimension whilst respecting their own personal pace of engagement. This self-actualization within a group dynamic allows for reflection on what they go through in the long term. The infrastructure (technical and human) provided by Project Common Bond allows the young participants to foster positive social behaviour and to open their minds to the worth of humanitarian actions within their individual communities.