The HEART Program, successfully implemented in Bosnia and Herzegovina since 2013 by Save the Children North-West Balkans, was fundamental to offer psychosocial support to many children suffering from severe chronic stress symptoms of the canton of Tuzla, Una-Sana and Posavina. On the basis of the excellent results obtained, the Phase III of the Program (2017-2019), developed by Save the Children Italia Onlus and Save the Children Schweiz, ultimately aims to institutionalize the HEART methodology across the whole country and integrate it into all the national education curricula. To that end, the project foresaw the following activities:
- Training of 160 new teachers and pedagogues to develop arts-based activities, adapted to the HEART methodology, in 47 primary schools in Una-Sana Canton;
- Identification and selection of three primary schools serving as model and training centers (HEART Friendly Schools) to disseminate the HEART methodology across the country;
- Ongoing monitoring and technical support activities for 50 teachers/counsellors trained in the Phase II of the Program (2016-2017);
- Design and production of the Guidelines on how to integrate HEART as a regular school activity in the national education curricula.
Direct beneficiaries during the years of the project (2017-2019)
- 160 new teachers and pedagogues of 47 primary schools of Una-Sana Canton;
- 50 teachers trained in the Phase II (2016-2017);
- 4’338 children ages 6-15 years.
Indirect beneficiaries during the years of the project (2017-2019)
- 2’255 children (ages 6-15 years) of Una-Sana and Posavina Cantons indirectly benefited from the implementation of the HEART methodology into the educational curricula.
Between October 2017 and December 2019, with Alta Mane support, Save the Children, in partnership with the Ministry of Education of Una-Sana Canton, has selected three primary schools of the Canton (Prekounje Primary School, Harmani I and Harmani II Primary School in Bihać) to become HEART Friendly Schools. Every school has been equipped with necessary furniture and materials to become model schools and, on their turn, to provide peer-to peer monitoring activities to all teachers willing to implement and integrate the HEART Programme in the everyday school activities. At the same time, 9 HEART Basic Trainings and 6 Follow-up Trainings were organized for 210 teachers and pedagogues (50 of which previously trained during the Phase II of the Program) to allow them to gain experience in implementing the methodology and try all the artistic activities in 47 schools thus reaching 4’338 children (aged 6-15). During the same period, 5 primary schools of Una-Sana Canton started to implement the Preparatory HEART Program, an educational assessment program, based on the HEART methodology, lasting around three months, for including migrant and refugee children in regular classes with their Bosnian peers. Finally, the Guidelines for Integrating HEART methodology into Curricula were developed by Save the Children in collaboration with the local education authorities to ensure the sustainability of the Program in every school of Una-Sana Canton and possibly replicate and scale it up to the other Cantons of BiH. In order to promote the Guidelines and HEART Program on national level, a HEART Conference has been organized in Bihać (November 27-28, 2019) gathering 65 participants, including representatives of the Ministry of Education from Una-Sana, Tuzla, Posavina, Bosnia Centrale e Zenica-Doboj Cantons, and Brčko District, all recognizing the value and the importance of the HEART Program and expressing their interest for implementing HEART in their own cantonal education curricula.