27 May, 2022

Join the Peace Education and Conflict Transformation team

Become a mediator in SCI

Thriving teams are built on healthy collaboration, clear and common purpose, trust and equal voice. Their members talk easily, listen to and learn from each other; they foster diversity, respect and shared accountability.

Please consider joining the Peace Education and Conflict Transformation team.

As a peace organisation, Service Civil International stands for non-violence and peaceful resolution of conflicts, from the micro level of inner peace and interpersonal relations, to the macro level of international relations. Peace is a continuous process, where respect for people and their human rights is essential and is chosen and nurtured every day.

In 2005 a group of SCI activists wrote a document SCI Policy on Peace Education which was adopted at ICM 2005. The paper outlined a need to improve the quality and level of peace education within the movement, mentions that there are sometimes conflicts within SCI and stresses the need to build up peace capacities and conflict resolution skills of the organisation itself.

In 2020 another group of activists presented a resolution to ICM on the need for peace education and conflict transformation in SCI to be expanded, strengthened and mainstreamed.

There are many similarities in the two proposals.

The group from 2005 wrote about a strategy for training in SCI which could include Peace workshops on camps, study sessions, board meetings, training courses and seminars. Some outcomes were a team of specially trained ‘peace messengers’, a dedicated website for peace resources (www.spaceforpeace.net) and an effort to explain the peace education aspect of SCI work on all our media, and a research project to identify volunteers’ knowledge of SCI values before and after workcamps.

Beyond this they proposed that branches invest in peace training including basic conflict resolution and mediation skills. There were also many recommendations for learning together to enhance community understanding of peace and to make sure there are a number of people within SCI who have the skills to mediate when necessary.

The Resolution on Peace Training and Conflict Transformation of 2020 seeks to continue and expand the great work of the 2005 team and to present practical steps for mainstreaming Peace Training and Conflict Transformation at all levels including IS, IEC, working groups, branch boards, workcamps, trainings and seminars.

  1. AIM 1. To ensure that Peace Training is taken into all levels of the organisation, that skills in peace work are developed and valued, that SCI is truly a peace organisation within and without.
  2. AIM 2. Set up a conflict management guide and procedures which become part of the standard procedures of SCI, including a path to mediation when necessary.

SCI has many resources and much experience in peace training. We acknowledge that the first step in peace education is in our workcamps and that the transformation that occurs on workcamps can be profound. However not every one comes to SCI through a workcamp and peace training can be forgotten in the urgency of the everyday stress of running a branch, an ICM, or a workcamp.

Peace training must begin with basic non-violence skills such as active listening and consensus decision making, non-violent communication, techniques for inclusion and developing a safe space for open discussion of ideas and feelings and valuing difference.

Differences of opinion can lead to constructive debate about important issues. Conflict between people or within teams is normal and if handled well, can lead to creative collaboration and synthesis of ideas. It can be transformational, leaving all parties feeling valued and understood, benefitting both the organisation and the individuals involved. Unresolved conflict can lead to activists leaving the organisation, or damage to the reputation of SCI.

The Peace education and conflict transformation group meets regularly. We have sent out a call for additional members to form a steering team.

This work of this team is closely aligned with the work of the Vision Seminar but needs more hands on deck to actualise the vision.

In collaboration with the Peace Messengers, this team will aim to:

  • collect all the educational materials on peace education and conflict resolution which are currently in use by SCI.
  • evaluate these materials and further develop peace education modules suitable for all levels of the SCI structure, activities and activists.
  • establish a group of mediators

 

We look forward to hearing from you.

Rita, Yota, Stephen, Antonios.

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