“If we are to teach real peace in this world,
And if we are to carry a real war against war,
We shall have to begin with the children”
- Mahatma Gandhi -
Through a series of discussions with school principals, youth workers and parents, alongside continued observation of children’s behaviour and backed-up by results of studies done on the subject, we responded to the need for a coherent conflict management skills programme, to be piloted in Belmopan.
With the assistance from Dr. Jennifer Morrow we developed a ‘Conflict Resolution Programme’ for children ages 6 to 16 AND for their teachers. The teachers’ workshops includes topics of Cooperative Learning, Above and Below the Line (respect and positive enforcement) and Mediation. The kids’ sessions introduce social skills as well as the Above and Below the Line principles
Throughout the school year 2009/2010 we welcomed 190 teachers to our Conflict Resolution workshop; they in turn have taken the programme to their 3,250 students. We also went directly to the classrooms and worked with over 1,400 kids. In addition, we also completed training to the UB Primary Ed faculty (25 students/teachers) and the homework help programme of the Belmopan Volleyball Association.
While this programme was successfully launched in Belmopan, we now have set new and exciting goals for the future which we aim to reach with the help of our Peace Corps Volunteer, Cisco Fernandez:
- To strengthen the Belmopan programme through mentorship, follow-up workshops and children’s teaching sessions.
- To seek out partnerships with like-minded organizations throughout Belize who will introduce and teach the programme in their cities, towns and areas.
- To organize annual Summer Peace Camps – 14-day sessions that will serve as a foundation for useful, practical conflict resolution skills which kids can apply to their everyday lives. We are starting this summer with two camps. The idea is for the participants to become a focal point for their schools and to be a link between students, teachers and the Centre in the continued development of the Conflict Resolution programme.
- To identify a team of teachers to be focal point in their schools to also become trainers and to ensure the continuity and sustainability of the programme.
- To develop an annual programme called “Peace in Belize” whereby we host a group of children from a remote area of Belize to discover their capital and the George Price Centre for Peace and Development. At the Centre, they will be given a fun Conflict Resolution session, jointly with a group of children from Belmopan. This way, they will learn together about how to contribute to “Peace in Belize” and will foster new friendships across the districts.
For more information on the Conflict Resolution Programme, contact us at email@example.com