‘First ADR Kit’ strategic partnership is a cross-sector cooperation between organisations active in the fields of intercultural communication, conflict management, active citizenship and youth participation, aimed at creating new educational methods of teaching Alternative Dispute Resolution (mediation, negotiation, conciliation, dispute boards) with the use non-formal education tools.
The firs step of this 2 years long cooperation is the training course that took place in Worcester, United Kingdom on 1.–8. October 2016. Vicolocorto took part with four participants, and two of them, Edoardo Magoga and Federica Guerra, have agreed to share their experience with us.
Q1: How did you come across to this project and have you ever heard of ADR (Alternative Dispute Resolution) before?
Edoardo said that he had never heard of ADR before starting the preparation for the training, so it was supposed to be a completely new experience for him. On the other hand, Federica mentioned that she knew about the mediation method (which is an action between parties to effect an agreement) before applying for the project proposed by Vicolocorto.
Q2: Have you ever done any other social projects?
Federica had her previous exchange experience during the university years. She participated in Erasmus program. For Edoardo it was his first international project.
Q3: Why did you choose this kind of project?
Croce Rossa proposed this project to him, but he didn’t know much about it at first. So Edoardo took this challenge to gain some new experience and he took part to the ADR preparation meetings. Federica answered that even if the project seems long, it can provide you with useful tools different from those usually found in formal education. Therefore, new methods of negotiation like ADR can be used in a practical way to find compromise between conflicting parties.
Q4: What benefits do ADR bring to the private and public sectors?
In Federica’s point of view the main benefits are creativeness, more possibilities to find solutions, chance to put yourself into the shoes of another person, which can help you to grow as a person and to become more open-minded. While for Edoardo it is still too early to realize the benefits. He’s looking forward to participate in the following program in March 2017 to learn more about the ADR method. However, so far it seems as though the importance of mediation is not limited to the job environment but also in daily life.
Q5: Is it important to apply ADR in your opinion? How it is important? For whom?
Both of them think that the ADR method is very important for juridical things, but can also be applied in home environment and in many other sectors where the conflicting situations appear helping to create a more tolerant way of solving problems.
Q6: What activities are held to introduce ADR during trainings?
Both participants answered that training course was 50/50 theory and practise. There were a lot of practical activities like role playing. Also there was a big amount of theory, which was hard to understand at first. However, the practical activities helped to perceive the difficult parts of the theory.
Q7: What is the most important thing you learned from this project?
Edoardo laughed and said “a little bit of English”. For Federica the most important skills were active listening, being able to listen without judgement and understanding what is important for the speaker, listening to what the person has to say and what it really means.
Aida & Linh