Four years ago, few people in Suriname (with a total population of less than 600.000 people) knew about mediation and the added value of its’ use in handling conflicts. At present, a pool of 32 professional mediators has been trained, both in the basic skills, as well as in specific domains like labour conflicts, family conflicts and the application of mediation in criminal matters. The Foundation Mediation Professionals Suriname has been established (in 2019) and has a very ambitious annual plan with activities in the field of research, awareness raising and marketing. Professionals in a many different domains have attended workshops or information sessions, among whom lawyers, notaries, entrepreneurs, an organisation for visually impaired people, one for people with an addiction, one for youth, teachers and health care workers. At the same time participants of the different training activities have been active in involving the media (newspaper, radio, tv, tiktok and other social media) to include articles, interviews and other news items on mediation in Suriname.
The last training activities in the framework of the project focused on training the participants to facilitate referral to mediation training themselves. Given the fact that the participants come from such different backgrounds will allow them to engage people from a broad range of professional and social domains and to further support the use of mediation. One of the milestones we are very proud of is that the Foundation Mediation Professionals has been asked by the Center for Democracy and Justice in Suriname to set up permanent training for lawyers and notaries. To us, this really is a beautiful achievement, as too often people in Suriname still rely on international experts. From now on, training on mediation will be facilitated by Surinamese trainers!
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