Supporting Effective Dispute Resolution Project Successfully Completes Phase 1 of Active Citizens Program Implementation

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Supporting Effective Dispute Resolution Project Successfully Completes Phase 1 of Active Citizens Program Implementation

Sun, July 31, 2022, 8:53 a.m. SL time, ColomboPage News Desk, Sri Lanka.

31 July, Colombo: Supporting Effective Dispute Resolution (SEDR) is a four-year access to justice project implemented by the British Council and funded by the European Union under its Strengthening Transformation Programme, of Reconciliation and Inclusive Democratic Engagement (STRIDE) in Sri Lanka. At the heart of SEDR is the desire for peaceful co-existence and a fair and just Sri Lanka.

From December 2021 to June 2022, SEDR initiated the design and implementation of three bespoke SEDR Active Citizens programs that had a strong focus on local conflict resolution and social inclusion to address community issues and improve resolution. community conflicts.

These programs have been carried out in each of the three SEDR target provinces (North, East and Uva), and the first phase has recently been successfully completed.

Active Citizens is a social leadership training methodology that has been successfully delivered by the British Council around the world for over 10 years to promote intercultural dialogue and community-led social development and build trust within and between the communities.

The methodology plays an important role in SEDR’s approach to supporting alternative dispute resolution mechanisms in resolving disputes at the community level.

With support and guidance from CSO partner organizations in each province, the SEDR Active Citizens program worked with participants who completed a five-day training where each day they focused on different aspects of working with a community.

Skills learned through the training included those on self-awareness of their identity and culture, building trust and interpersonal relationships, exploring tools and techniques to encourage and facilitate dialogue, problem identification, problem solving, promotion of social cohesion and conflict management and leadership.

The SEDR Active Citizens engages with individuals with diverse interests and skills in a community. They then put these skills into practice through dedicated community intervention (social action projects), which were designed, managed and implemented within their community with the support of their community, from youth volunteers to state actors and not state.

From March to June 2022, SEDR Active Citizens implemented 15 social action projects focusing on issues and conflicts facing their communities, reaching approximately 1,724 beneficiaries.

One of the young participants from Badalkumbura, Monaragala district said: “During my SEDR AC journey, some of the lessons I learned during the workshop were that, in particular, the tree of conflict, forum theater, as well as role-playing games are not confined to one community but apply to all, regardless of religion or ethnicity they belong to. places, I made it a point to invite my Tamil housemates to visit our village.I was also captivated when these friends wanted me and other Sinhalese friends to be their guests in their estates.

Jacques Carstens, Head of the SEDR Team, said: “The British Council’s active citizens model has proven very well suited to SEDR’s ambition to strengthen community-level dispute resolution efforts in Sri Lanka. It is very encouraging to see how the women and young volunteers have grown and benefited. of the active citizen approach and have used their new knowledge and skills to address some of the root causes of conflict affecting their own local communities.

Using the Active Citizens model, SEDR aims to further build the capacity of local youth and women champions through Phase 2 of the SEDR Active Citizens program and support them to carry out social action projects that are inclusive, contextually relevant and bringing positive change to northern communities. , Uva and the eastern provinces of Sri Lanka.

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