Since 2015, forumZFD Kosovo has been promoting mediation, specifically mediation among peers within the school environment, as a tool for non-violent and sustainable conflict resolution and for fostering a culture of peace. Within this framework, teachers and students of over 70 schools have been trained as mediators and later mentored to apply mediation in their schools. Moreover, the Ministry of Education, Science, Technology, and Innovation (MESTI) of Kosovo has accredited segments of the training materials produced by forumZFD in partnership with local NGO, which can therefore also be used in certified teacher trainings.
Due to the COVID-19 crisis, we took the initiative to develop a pilot online training course, which broadly targets youth, secondary school and university students, NGO workers and volunteers, psychologists and non-formal educators. The course, which started on Monday, April 27th and will last for six weeks, involves 24 participants from across Kosovo.
The course offers participants the knowledge, tools and skills to apply mediation and peaceful conflict resolution within their schools and/or working environments, as well as within their personal lives. More specifically, through theoretical input, practical exercises and live online sessions, the course will address concepts of conflict and conflict transformation, violence and non-violence, multi-perspectivity, communication and emotion. A participatory and interactive learning process will be encouraged, combining individual work and group exchange, with a specific focus put on how to apply the training in each of the participants’ contexts.
Adapting a training program that would usually rely on personal engagement, group discussion, simulations and role plays, to an online format is not without some challenges. We are focused on the needs of the participants and will regularly check in and adjust the process based on their feedback and ongoing evaluation.