January got off to an exciting start with ninety-eight (98) participants being recruited by the Way Out Project to attend a series of 40 hour mediation training in Kingston at the Alpha Boys School. The participants comprised of individuals from various sectors of society namely; public and private sectors and civil society organizations all focused on taking advantage of the training opportunity provided for by the project.
The 40 hour mediation training sessions have proven to be engaging, enlightening and informative for participants. The promotion of gender equality and women’s empowerment has been the core foundation of the Way Out Project's design. A design that is geared towards the facilitation and implementation of the National Policy for Gender Equality (NPGE). The joint effort between the Bureau of Women's Affairs (BWA) and the Dispute Resolution Foundation (DRF) and supported by the Fund for Gender Equality (FGE) of the United Nations Entity for Women’s Empowerment and Gender Equality (UNWOMEN) have proven to be an effective combination in the delivery of content to these trainees in gender and mediation practices.
"The Dispute Resolution Foundation in partnering with Jamaica's Bureau of Women's Affairs in the implementation of the NPGE is providing to critical actors a capability to defuse conflicts related to values rights and interests and to design processes of engagement to honour and incorporate the needs of women and men, boys and girls. Training gender focal points and other stakeholders in Mediation is a valuable innovation for change."
Donna Parchment Brown, CEO, Dispute Resolution Foundation
These ninety-eight (98) participants were split into four (4) groups and during the period January 15 – February 16 were given gender training, mediation and Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) techniques applicable to their home, schools, communities and workplace. All done with a view of promoting gender mainstreaming within the Jamaican society. The participants will all attend a graduation on March 2, 2013 @ 6:00pm at the Terra Nova Hotel with guest speaker Dr. Henley Morgan and receive certificates on having completed the 40 Hour Mediation and Conflict Resolution programme and will utilize what they have learnt in the process of nation building.