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The Centre Reaches Out to the Gonzales Community

The Dispute Resolution Centre (the Centre) is the premier provider of “Commercial” Mediation and Arbitration services and complements this with a wide range of training in Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR).

Executive Director of the the Centre, Ms. Beverly Britain, indicated that while the Dispute Resolution Centre focuses on Commercial Disputes, each year the Centre undertakes a community outreach initiative.  This year the Centre selected the Pride in Gonzales Project, co-ordinated by Ms. Andrea Alexander.  A major goal of this Social Delivery Programme entitled “Building Pride Together” is to improve the quality of life of the residents of Gonzales, and one element of this programme is the training and development of the residents of Gonzales.

This year the Centre hosted and trained a group of 20 residents by exposing them to the basic tenets of Conflict Management & Resolution.  A fresh and insightful approach employed by facilitator Mrs. Ann Diaz, Assistant Executive Director of Community Mediation Services Division, was “Understanding the Self”.  This helped the group take a new perspective by looking within themselves to first understand the basis of their thoughts, feeling and actions.  Other elements of the training included communication skills such as listening and re-framing.   Mrs. Diaz noted that it is only by having a firm grasp on these basic skills would persons be able to effectively resolve disputes within their families and communities.

Ms. Britain reported that feedback from the training was positive and encouraging and that the Centre is committed to taking this a step further by selecting members from this group to attend a workshop entitled: Resolving Disputes through Mediation.  The Dispute Resolution Centre feels that this type of training is critical to developing the internal mediation capacity of communities and is working with NGO’s to take this skills training where it is most needed.

Other courses offered by the Centre include: