​SADRA's four-day Peer Mediation and Conflict Resolution workshop trained 48 students at La Bri Olive Farm in Franschhoek, Cape Town, South Africa, Sept. 29 – Oct 2. Photographer: Siya Siwali

By Oscar Siwali
Monday, October 31, 2022

Southern African Development and Reconstruction Agency (SADRA), a Mennonite Mission Network partner, holds Mediation and Conflict Resolution training workshops for high-school students in Cape Town, South Africa. 

Southern African Development and Reconstruction Agency (SADRA), a Mennonite Mission Network partner, held a four-day peer mediation and conflict resolution training at La Bri Holiday and Olive Farm in Franschhoek, Cape Town, South Africa, Sept. 29-Oct. 2. Forty-eight students — 29 girls and 19 boys — from Modderdam High, Bonteheuwel High and Acadia Secondary Schools in the Bonteheuwel Community, a Cape Town suburb, practiced mediation skills. 

Practicing through role play is an important part of the mediation and conflict transformation training, as it gives participants a safe space to make mistakes and be corrected by facilitators, while also honing the skills through practice. We deal with young people’s anger, trauma, and lack of vision or direction, which often leads to self-destruction. So, we teach students to address issues of intrapersonal conflict, identity and self-doubt.  

Workshop participants said that they appreciated the anger module, and many felt that it was the most important lesson from camp. Most youths openly shared their struggles with anger and how this emotion often becomes unmanageable. Some examples of how this anger manifests include self-cutting, feeling suicidal and attempted suicide.  

La Bri is intended to be a place of healing for these students, with fresh air and no traffic, gunfire or excessive noise. The La Bri setting offers space where youth are encouraged to think about their lives and futures. 

Mosai-making was a popular recreational activity among the youths. Thanks to Douglas Jones Mosaics, a Cape Town business, young people were able to spend time creating something meaningful with their hands to take home as reminder of their time at camp. Participants also made coffee holders, jewelry boxes, home décor, door stoppers and other products. Prizes were awarded to encourage creativity. 

This is the third peer mediation and conflict resolution training SADRA has held in 2022, with a total of 164 participants. The first training was held for Nyanga community schools in March. The second was for Lwandle schools in June. A fourth training will be held in December for Manenberg high schools, with 60 students enrolled in the program.  

Each camp includes some of the previous learners, who are now studying at colleges and universities. They serve as volunteer coaches and share about their experiences with the training.  

 

 

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https://www.mennonitemission.net/news/4800/SADRA-offers-peer-mediation-conflict-resolution-training-to-students-in-South-Africa

​Oscar Siwali is the director of Southern African Development and Reconstruction Agency (SADRA).

 

 

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