Bridging Conflicts

CCI_000016.jpg

“Conflicts are everywhere. So too will Mediators be...”

It is interesting to note how much progress has happened in the practice of Alternative Dispute Resolution in the Philippines with the emergence of new groups and organizations advocating new approaches in conflict and dispute resolution. More and more people are trained to be negotiators, arbiters, ’neutrals’, and especially mediators. Likewise, more organizations are now integrating Conflict Resolution into their programs. this augurs well for the field of mediation. Indeed, since there is always the risk of conflicts arising, it is very wise for NGO’s, funding agencies, peoples’ organizations, communities and groups to integrate Conflict Resolution into their projects.

MedNet is happy to be part of this process with more organizations and agencies engaging in training their personnel in conflict resolution and appointing it their mediator.

So how do organizations face the risk of arising conflicts? Is there sufficient readiness to minimize the damage of eventful conflicts and assure the accomplishment of objectives? It is always wise to be prepared. Hence, the emergence of more and more mediators is a welcome thing. But becoming a mediator does not happen

overnight and it takes a long time to become a proficient mediator.

It is no fun poking one’s nose into others people’s problems, much less trying to effect reconciliation and peace in a situation of conflict and perhaps even acts of violence. But the fact that there are people who do engage in mediating conflicts leads one to ask: what kind of people are they, these mediators? What lead them to accept the challenge of having to face the tension, the strong emotions and harsh words, indeed the whole challenge of entering into a conflict situation in the hope of managing it, possibly bringing about transformation, or even facilitating the resolution? What does it take to be a mediator? While much has been written about the person of the mediator himself or herself.

In this issue of “The Mediator”, our contributors present some reflections on the persona, the qualities, the real-life drama and the successes of mediators. It is our wish that more personal experiences are shared by seasoned mediators and consensus-builders in order to help aspiring mediators in the country gain insight into the actual life experiences of a mediator, and to learn the important lessons arising out of their mediation practice.

A MESSAGE FROM THE EDITOR-IN-CHIEF

by: Benedict U. Rimando