Let’s mediate – Training Course on Alternative Dispute Resolution in EVS/ESC.
On 2-10 December 2019, Consilium Development and Training hosted the Erasmus+ Youth Workers Mobility: ‘Let’s mediate – Training Course on Alternative Dispute Resolution in EVS/ESC’. The project took place in Worcester and was implemented jointly with the partnership of 10 organisations from across the Programme Countries.
Over the 7 working days of the course, 33 participants and staff members (trainers, youth workers, EVS/ESC coordinators, mentors, facilitators, members of the partner organisations, etc.) went through and intensive learning process aimed at introducing mediation as a method of Alternative Dispute Resolution into youth work with special focus on international volunteering projects.
Mediation is a way of solving conflicts amicably with a support of third, neutral person, who facilitates the parties of the dispute through all stages of conflict, supporting them in dealing with emotions, identifying their interests, creating options and finally – reaching a common ground. So far known mostly in commercial disputes – mediation gains recognition as one of the most efficient and constructive way of solving conflicts.
By discovering the basic knowledge and skills in mediation, participants gained better understanding on how to help young people in solving their conflicts and facilitate this process especially in the context of EVS/ESSC projects. This was achieved by means of successively fulfilling the following objectives:
- Exploring the topic of multiculturalism and intercultural dialogue;
- Learning about origins of different types of conflicts and possible methods of solving them;
- Promoting and explain Alternative Dispute Resolutions with special emphasis on mediation
- Teaching in practice skills relevant to effective negotiation and mediation;
- Using mediation in solving conflicts during EVS projects in partner organisations;
- Increasing the quality of EVS projects in partner organisations;
- Discussing challenges and difficulties connected with EVS/ESC and future of international volunteering.
- Creating a field for further cooperation and development of new volunteering projects;
- Sharing the results of First ADR Kit strategic partnership devoted to mediation in youth education (www.firstadrkit.org).
The mobility was implemented with the use of highly participatory non-formal education methods such as simulation exercises, games, discussions, experiential learning sessions and introducing “Handbook on Conflict Resolution Education for Young People”.
During the training course participants explored the principles of dialogue and mediation, learnt about types of conflicts and practical way of solving them. They developed various skills and mediation techniques like asking right questions, dealing with emotions, active listening, generating and creating options, and negotiations. After coming back home, many of them run workshops for their volunteers and some of them established peer-to-peer mediation in their organisations.
Overall, the course allowed achieving good outcomes and we do hope that in future EVS/ESC projects implemented by our participants conflicts will be resolved in a peaceful, respectful way.