Conflict Mediation Workshop for School Disciplinarians Print E-mail
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Written by Shane. D. Williams   
Thursday, 21 February 2013 00:00

ParticipantsIn May 2012, over a dozen representatives from various community organizations took part in a conflict resolution workshop organized by Restore Belize and the United States Embassy. The workshop was facilitated by Julie Walton of the Bureau of Conflict and Stabilization Operations (CSO) in the U.S. Department of State. CSO advances the United States’ national security by breaking cycles of violent conflict and mitigating crises in priority countries such as Belize where the focus is engaging in conflict prevention, crisis response and stabilization. The participants that completed the course are now training other community workers across the country.

Kashieka Broaster is one of four conflict mediators trained by Walton, who is currently facilitating a conflict resolution workshop at the Institute for Technical and Vocational Education Training in Belize City. The workshop is being attended by counselors and disciplinarians of various schools in the city. Broaster explained that during the workshop participants will be introduced to a problem solving model, which helps conflict mediators to identify root problems in disputes, diffuse tension and develop solutions.

One technique used by the facilitators during the course is role playing. Participants of the course had their first chance to practice the techniques they have been studying on Wednesday, February 20th, in a role playing scenario in which the mediator had to address a conflict caused by a student, who cut in front of another in the line at the school cafeteria. The mediator sat down with both students and used a technique called active listening. An active listener listens attentively to what the offender is saying and may even repeat it before responding. The mediator summarizes the speaker’s concerns and may even reframe it in an attempt to move the situation closer to resolution. There were five groups working on the same scenario (two students and one mediator). Members of each group were satisfied with the performance of their mediator. As the workshop continues, participants will be tasked with addressing more complex conflicts. Following the training participants will have the opportunity to work directly with the training facilitators to co-mediate conflicts within a variety of agencies in Belize City. During this time, they@ will receive direct coaching and technical expertise from the experts of the Bureau of Conflict and Stabilization Operations (CSO).  

The workshop began on Monday, February 18th, and will conclude on Friday, February 22nd, when participants will be certified in Conflict Mediation Methodology.

Last Updated on Thursday, 21 February 2013 14:30