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Jun 15, 2018

Mediation and Conflict Resolution Among Vulnerable Groups

The Youth and Community Transformation Project (YCT) and RESTORE Belize partnered to train nineteen service providers in conflict mediation. The social workers, community rehabilitation officers, police officers, and youth workers have been equipped with mediation skills to build capacity in their departments and organizations where they will serve as conflict mediators. Andrea Polanco stopped in for the last day of training and files the following report.

 

Andrea Polanco, Reporting

Today a conflict mediation training wrapped up in Belize City. Since Monday, a number of agencies that work with vulnerable and at-risk youth populations have been learning how to help these groups resolve conflict. This is the first part of the training, after which the participants must practice sessions to become certified mediators.

 

Sandra Diaz Cadle

Sandra Diaz Cadle, Facilitator

“If you note today they are doing a lot of role playing. Throughout the week, we have them role playing and acting out the various steps. We do stop action to make correction or comment on area that they are doing very well in and so this is basically the practicing ground for them. After this they have to go out and do three live mediation sessions where they are supervised and their skills are evaluated. And based on that outcome they are advised to continue working on certain skills.”

 

Lincoln Flowers shares how the workshop will help him with his work at the Department of Youth Services.

 

Lincoln Flowers

Lincoln Flowers, Department of Youth Services

“Never yet have we approached this direction of solving conflicts among young people, actually mediating it. So, for me it is excellent and perfect for the type of job I do and I have learnt so many techniques this week that definitely improve the services that I can I offer to young people.   Basically we deal with issues young people and it is mostly them against themselves, problems at school, trying to reach into gang problems and resolving the conflict will give them a better understanding of life; how to deal with situations positively and that conflicts are good and bad at times but it is all how you deal with the situation you are in.  One of the techniques we learned was pausing, taking a stop and understanding hat you reach a certain milestone today, pause, take a week off or a day off and then address the situation when a little bit more of the anger has died off and they have time to think about the situation.”

Restore Belize and the Youth and Community Transformation Project explain why they partnered to do this initiative.

 

Robin Schaffer

Robin Schaffer, Communication Officer, Restore Belize

“It is an important form of dispute resolution. It is something that can help to de-clog the court system or something that can stop or mitigate conflict from getting out of hand.  And it is an important aspect in the national effort to build a lasting culture of peace.”

 

Carolyn Crawford

Carolyn Crawford, Procurement YCT Project

“Because of the type of agencies that we work with and the type of population, the vulnerable youth population and the at-risk youth population, we know that there are many, many conflicts and we wanted to help the agencies to use a tool to deal with these conflicts when they arise because of the population and the type of kids or adolescents that they encounter.”

 

Reporting for News Five, I’m Andrea Polanco.

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