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In schools of Dvorichna and Bilozerka conflicts will be resolved peacefully
  • Written by Lyudmyla Kovtun, Dvorichna Community Law Center
  • Published in Events
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From left to right: Oleksandr Vasykenko, teacher of Bilozerka school, Ella Petrenko, head of Bilozerka Community Law Center, Iryna Taran, head of Pyryatin Community Law CenterPhoto by Lubov Babenko
From left to right: Oleksandr Vasykenko, teacher of Bilozerka school, Ella Petrenko, head of Bilozerka Community Law Center, Iryna Taran, head of Pyryatin Community Law Center

Ukrainian communities start to accumulate successful experiences of mediation. One of the first organizations to practice this methodology of conflict resolution was “Zhinochi Initsiatyvy” public organization from Pyryatin with its Community Law Center.

Their best-practices were adapted by Dvorichna (Kharkiv region) and Bilozerka (Kherson region) communities. Starting from 2014 they started to implement a new project “Mediation in schools in Dvorichna and Bilozerka” that was supported by International Renaissance Foundation.

taran
Photo by Lubov Babenko
Iryna Taran, mediator and head of Pyryatin Community Law Center

21 February a coordination meeting was held in Dvorichna. Community Law Centers from Dvorichna and Bilozerka together with representatives of local self-governmental bodies took part in this meeting. Participants discussed different ways of implementing mediation in schools and possibilities for cooperation in this field. They chose six schools to begin mediation presentations and elaborated mechanisms of selection of future mediators among students. Bilozerka community is only starting to work with alternative ways of conflict resolution so it was very important to share experience and ideas with Dvorichna Community Law Center.

berdnyk
Photo by Lubov Babenko
Nataliya Berdnyk, head of Zhovtneva school from Dvorichna

Iryna Taran, mediator from Pyryatin Community Law Center, conducted a master-class on the specifics of school mediation in rural communities. Participants learned what mediation is, how to organize the work of school services of understanding, how to motivate teachers to follow mediation principles and how it could change the relationships in the community.

Oleksandr Shakhov, deputy head of Dvorichna State Administration and Victoriya Nezbay, representative of department of education and youth of Bilozerka State Administration stressed the importance of peaceful conflict resolution for their communities. Oleksandr Shakhov noted that this meeting is the first step for future implementation of mediation. A lot of difficulties lay ahead but the team is ready to work hard to obtain positive results. It is impossible to instantly change the whole educational system but new methods can step by step encourage communities to review their principles.

shahov
Photo by Lubov Babenko
Oleksandr Shakhov, deputy head of Dvorichna State Administration

It is understood that mediation implementation in schools will create a more secure and peaceful environment for students, teachers, parents and the rest of the community. Conflicts may appear not only between students but also include adults such as parents and teachers. It is very important that local authorities are supportive of this initiative.

02
Photo by Lubov Babenko
From left to right: Nadiya Kvadratsius, teacher of Bilozerka public school, Lubov Motylova, head of school educational work

Additional information
Mediation in schools in Dvorichna and Bilozerka” project is supported by International Renaissance Foundation and is realized by “Fund of rural communities of Dvorichna” public organization and by Bilozerka youth center of regional development. Project’s goal is reducing the level of conflicts in schools through mediation methods and creation of services of understanding in schools. Community Law Centers, administrated by the two organizations, employ qualified lawyers who will help participants of services of understanding and provide legal consultations

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