South Yorkshire teacher returns from 'inspiring' Srebrenica genocide trip

The delegation which included Rotherham teacher Lucy Hammond
The delegation which included Rotherham teacher Lucy Hammond
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A Rotherham teacher has returned from a trip aimed at learning lessons from the Srebrenica genocide.

Lucy Hammond, a history teacher at Wickersley School and Sports College, was part of a delegation which visited Bosnia-Herzegovina to discover more about the Srebrenica genocide.

The four-day trip was organised by Remembering Srebrenica a charity, which works to educate people about genocide in order to create more cohesive communities in the UK.

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The Srebrenica genocide was the July 1995 killing of more than 8,000 Muslim Bosniaks, mainly men and boys, in and around the town of Srebrenica during the Bosnian War.

The group had a guided tour of Sarajevo, which was led by Rešad Trbonja, a survivor of the ‘Siege of Sarajevo’- the longest bombardment of a capital city in the history of

modern warfare.

He told the group how his world changed overnight.

Rešad said: “I was just an ordinary European teenager, 19-years-old, in my jeans and Converse, really into punk music.

"The next day, after the declaration of independence, the shelling started and ordinary Sarajevans were under attack."

Ms Hammond said: "Don’t just live next to your neighbours, live with them.

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"Rešad’s moving story taught me that we need to treasure the diverse society we have in the UK and work hard to protect it.

"The warmth and wisdom shown by the survivors we spoke to was inspiring."

The group also paid their respects at the Srebrenica Memorial site where more than 8,000 Muslim men and boys were killed.

Whilst there they met with Fadila Efendić, who lost her son in the genocide.

Since being established in 2013, Remembering Srebrenica has taken more than 1,100 British citizens to Srebrenica to learn about the genocide that occurred there in 1995.

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On their return delegates are asked to fulfil a pledge of remembrance and to become ‘Community Champions’ against hate.

Over the last five years the charity has brought communities together by organising almost 5,500 Srebrenica memorial activities.

This year memorial events will be held across the country between July 8 and 15.