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Jun 28, 2012

At risk youths get conflict resolution training courtesy of U.S. Embassy

While police cooled temperatures in the hot spots, a conflict resolution training was taking place at the IT-VET with the US State Department and Restore Belize. A team of instructors versed in mediation skills are conducting the workshop, which is sponsored by the US Embassy. News Five’s Delahnie Bain reports.


Delahnie Bain, Reporting

Representatives from the US State Department are providing conflict resolution training for persons from different organizations. The training comes at the request of Restore Belize, which is looking to provide capacity building in the social services.


Julie Walton

Julie Walton, Bureau of Conflict & Stabilization Operations, US State Dept.

“We collaborated with Restore Belize to put together an opportunity to bring these skill sets into Belize City and then amplify them throughout the city. So what we’re done is, we collaborated and developed some training and we’ve had two classes so far for training; it was anywhere from thirteen to fifteen people in each of the classes. So we took them out to do mediation mentoring in the community. So at the same time we’re doing mediation mentoring in the community, we are in turn introducing these skills and this knowledge in that institution that didn’t have mediation before.”


Tina Cuellar Augustus

Tina Cuellar Augustus, Human Development Program Officer, Restore Belize

“We felt at this point what we wanted to do was build some capacity building for our social services providers so what we did was, in choosing each cohort of people that we’re training to be mediators, we try to reach out to the facilities that we think would benefit from it and obviously after being trained, we have this follow up training, which is a training for trainers that they would go back and train within their own agencies. So it’s more of a capacity building and we feel that if they attain the mediation skills, then we were hoping that at the end of the day, the conflicts would be squashed a lot sooner before it escalates to violence.”


To build on the program, a train the trainers workshop is being held with twelve participants who will pass on the mediation skills in their respective fields.


Julie Walton

“Out of the two classes that we’ve already completed, we took a group of the best students and those folks who have the aptitude to be able to teach and we created a train the trainer program and that’s the training that’s going on right now. So these folks will train new mediators after we leave and they will continue to grow this expertise out into the community. We’re also meeting with other institutions we haven’t had time to meet with yet and interjecting more of the co-mediations there and introducing our mediators in those institutions so it’s growing in different ways.”


Tina Cuellar Augustus

“We walked through the entire mediation process. We get trained for forty hours on how to basically identify the problem, analyze the problem, walk through the mediation process to see what is the underlining need of both disputants, what is it that their interest is, how can we best solve the solution; not necessarily for one person to accommodate the other person but to see how we can have both persons walk off with some resolution and some satisfaction of the problem.”


Abdul Nunez

Abdul Nunez, Director of Youth, Wagner’s Youth Facility, Kolbe Foundation

“All the skills surrounding mediation; the paraphrasing, the reframing, the communication skills, teaching and being there to help them to sort out whatever differences that they might have; that’s basically what we’re learning here and that’s helping me tremendously at my workplace, doing what I do.”


Among the trainers is Abdul Nunez of the Wagner’s Youth facility; his job requires conflict resolution on a daily basis.


Abdul Nunez

“First of all, we need to train those in house, meaning I want to start with the youths at the Wagner’s Youth Facility and then branch off. But the whole idea behind the whole training is to get trainers throughout the country. We start at one school—first of all, we’re looking at the Hostel and forging a relationship between the Hostel and the Prison and the Youth Cadet Corp. That’s one little circle. We train youths in that area, who will then branch out and train other youths in other areas. We train other adults in other areas like the police, we have people here from the prison, we have people here from the community rehabilitation department.”


The U.S. State Department personnel are laying the foundation for the initiative, but it will be sustained by Restore Belize thereafter.


Tina Cuellar Augustus

“We’ve already started galvanizing how we will have monthly meetings to see how we can create a body of mediators because right now in total, we probably have about four or five trained mediators. Even though you’re trained, you’re not fully complete because you have to complete a certain amount of hours of mediations in order to become a certified mediator. So we want to complete that process, coupled with continuously meeting monthly to see how we can then become more of an association, become more of an organized body so that people can reach out to us if they need mediation skills in any event.”


Delahnie Bain for News Five.


U.S. State Department persons have also been doing a peer to peer mediation training with high school students, community dialogue in some neighborhoods as well as anger management and creative problem solving kind with youth groups.

Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

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3 Responses for “At risk youths get conflict resolution training courtesy of U.S. Embassy”

  1. Charlie Price says:

    I just hope that they are reaching the RIGHT people… THE GANGS!!!

  2. Al says:

    Thanks to America, we have started giving some life survival skills to our children. Now we need to develop a curriculumn in critical thinking, inductive and deductive, to teach our kids how to reason through life. We need to teach them the proper way to express themselves and be able to talk over old beef without shedding blood. Old beef is nothing more than an unresolved issue between two or more people. Thank you America.

  3. rod says:

    waste of money and time what we need is for this incompetent pm to stop taking back all the gang members from the us this would solve half the problems .

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