“Mediation as we know it, I learned, is not mediation” these are the words of a respected woman Burundian lawyer, one of my trainees. Many people consider themselves as mediators but they are not. They risk to created more conflict because they are not professionally trained to mediate.
Since 2014 I dream of supporting professional mediation in Central Africa as a path to contribute to peace and to plant seeds in the minds of people.
A seed of a new mindset that conflict can be approached positively by using mediation not only for the resolution but also the prevention of conflicts.
The challenge is not to impose mediation but to connect it to traditions. As in Burundi they had the system of Ubushingantahe. (Umushingantahe) A committee of wise man in case of conflict.
For professional mediation the mediators have to respond to the same criteria of impartiality, neutrality, independency, wisdom. Add to that an open mind, self knowledge, empathy, mastership of communication and negotiation techniques.
Professional mediation can be seen as an innovating transformative process.
The participants of the training showed and proofed this is the way to go.
A moment I dreamed of for many years.
It happened this week. Thank you!
This week I was introducing professional mediation to Burundian lawyers in Burundi. The bars of Gitega and Bujumbura send their best lawyers to be formed as mediators trainers. It is my honor to be their guide.
When we get to the qualities of the mediator they asked: How do ‘you’ do it? Having the mind of a lawyer to switch to the mind of a mediator?
This is the moment I understand that they understand and that this question doesn’t need an answer. Yes it is not easy. The keys are exercice, full consciousness and awareness.Meditation also helps to take distance from your own thoughts and ego…This is the moment that you are happy that you made sacrifices to be disciplined to live one of your missions in life.
Mediation is the way to contribute to the resolution of conflicts and world peace.