Brazil: Petropolis-Peace celebrates one year and 400 mediations


An article from Diario de Petrópolis

The Community Mediation project of Petropolis is celebrating one year of activity in the municipality. There have been more than 400 visits among students, education professionals and family members. The project began on August 17, 2017, as an initiative of the Mayor Bernardo Rossi through Law n ° 7,532. According to the coordinator of the Municipal Program for the Restoration of Peace Petrópolis da Paz, Elsie-Elen Carvalho, the main objective of the project is to seek solutions to conflicts that are presented and to search for inclusion and social peace.

The major success of the program has been the work in the Public Chamber, located at Av. Koeler, 206, Center. The site, an arm of the project, serves people who are referred by partners such as the Reference Center for Women’s Assistance (CRAM), the community and people who seek the service spontaneously. The Chamber receives cases to be mediated such as conflicts in families and among neighbors, among others. The action consists of listening to both sides and seeking a satisfactory, peaceful solution for both. Mediations can sometimes take more than three months to complete.

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Discussion question

Mediation as a tool for nonviolence and culture of peace

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“In a year, we have had a lot of results with the mediation here in the Public Chamber. It is a free tool, using voluntary mediators, including some with legal expertise,” said the coordinator.
The program has three projects: School Mediation, Community Mediation and Restorative Justice. The work begins with teaching units, where the team assists and empowers students and teachers in a social and emotional way. Existing conflicts are mediated and guided by the volunteers of the program.
This benefits the school as a whole, since the students themselves learn to solve conflicts by means of the tools presented by the project.
Three schools participate in the school mediation actions: Carlos Chagas Liceu Municipal School, Amélia Antunes Rabello Municipal School and Governador Marcelo Alencar Municipal School. Restorative Justice is practiced in the Municipal Schools Germano Valente, Hercilia Henriques Moret, Pope John Paul II and Professor Nilton Coast.

“The main idea of ​​School Mediation is to stimulate a collaborative atmosphere in schools by creating the habit of dialogue and conflict resolution through solutions presented by those involved who are the main stakeholders. It is hoped that through the use of conflict mediation, the culture of peace will be diffused in school, and in life in society,” according to the pedagogue and psychologist and head of the Department of School Mediation, Vanessa Siqueira.

The program has partnerships with the Secretariat of Health and Citizenship Office, in addition to the Court of Justice, Petropolis police stations, the State and Municipal Councils of Public Security, Procon, Tutelar Council and Universities.