GenRosso’s Balkan Route

01 August 2022

Gen Rosso with the migrants of the “Balkan route”: a commitment that continues.

Thanks to a European project, the international band will return to refugees on the border between Bosnia and Herzegovina and Croatia. The objective is the training of young people capable of helping migrants to face their life conditions and their future. This is the third trip to the Balkans for Gen Rosso who reports: from refugees the request to receive spiritual nourishment, through art and music, in a context of suffering.

Adriana Masotti – Vatican City Gen Rosso on the eve of a new commitment that continues the path of solidarity with the refugees of the so-called “Balkan route”. Together with the international association New Humanity, Dance Lab and five other European and Middle Eastern associations, the international band based in Loppiano, Florence, promotes a “Call to action”, a “call to action”, for 12 young people, to offer them training in the arts and multicultural fields. This is the new “HeARTmony” project, funded by the European Commission, whose objectives are to develop social inclusion methodologies for migrants and refugees through art, strengthen the intercultural skills of young people and reflect on the causes and effects of migration in the Mediterranean basin.

The “HeARTmony” project Two training activities planned during this summer, the participants will then be called in teams with other young people to carry out at least two workshops by October 2023 to demonstrate that they have acquired the technical, social and intercultural skills indicated. As part of the project, 6 young people residing in Italy will have the opportunity to participate in an artistic training course run by Gen Rosso, from 25 July to 1 August, in Bosnia and Herzegovina in Ušivak, on the outskirts of Sarajevo, and in Bihać.


The refugee camp in Ušivak is one of the temporary receptions centres where migrants returning from the Balkan route live. They are mainly families with children, unaccompanied minors and young people. Managed by the IOM, the camp is for them a kind of ‘oasis’ where they can restore themselves in body and spirit, but their dream is to try to cross the border with Croatia to enter the European Union. In the centre there is the Social Corner, wanted by Pope Francis, where Caritas volunteers animate the days of the current 300 guests, coming from Iran, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Syria, Iraq, various African countries and even Cuba, organizing recreational activities and formative. A meeting and dialogue point to instil hope in those who risk losing it.

The need to heal heart and soul In Bosnia and Herzegovina, Gen Rosso will therefore return for the third time at the end of the month, not only to set up a concert with the involvement of refugees, as was the case on previous occasions, but to train young people who will then be trainers in that context.  A workshop, as defined by the international band inspired by Chiara Lubich’s charisma of unity, with a “multiplicative effect”. In fact, many refugees asked for not so much material aid, food and clothing that is not lacking, but moral and spiritual support, nourishment of the heart and soul to face their difficult present. “We want to be like you, bring joy with music”, the wish expressed to the members of Gen Rosso.



The previous stages the adventure here had begun in October 2021 when, thanks to the collaboration with the Jesuit Refugee Service, the Jesuit Refugee Service, the artists were able to visit the guests of the Borići family shelter, on the border with Croatia, and also carry out some music and dance workshops with them. Above all, they had had the opportunity to show their closeness to these families, joining their voices to those of those who try to draw the attention of Europe to the inhumanity of the living conditions to which migrants on the Balkan route are forced.

The fruit is a newfound hope from 4th to 8th May, the second trip of Gen Rosso to Bosnia and Herzegovina to kick off the second phase of the project dedicated to migrants with the same goal: to give them hope and warmth through music and to experience how important it is for all the gift of sharing in fraternity. There were two live concerts, in presence, at the “John Paul II” school in Bihać and the fruits collected were many. Michele Sole, the Italian voice of Gen Rosso, recalls: “A boy who came from Pakistan confided to us: ‘We don’t want to stop living- be more motivated to live ‘”. Among the audience a Muslim woman:” I felt moved and lucky to be here. I told myself that I would like to leave with Gen Rosso, be Gen Rosso “. A boy from Afghanistan:” Thank you for the passion and the hope you have given us. “” You have embellished our life with your presence among us – the employees and students of the Bihać Educational Institute wrote. They radiate so much goodness and happiness which is easily transmitted to all. We sincerely hope to meet again!