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Project to get Peer Mediation in every school launched

Peace Foundation launches project to get Peer Mediation in every school in New Zealand to tackle horrific violence and aggression.

At midday on 7 July at www.givealittle.co.nz/project/peacefoundation, the Peace Foundation launches its most important project in 41 years with the goal to fund the expansion of its flagship Peer Mediation Programmes for primary, secondary and kura kaupapa Maori schools across New Zealand.

In the last 22 years, the Peace Foundation has given peer mediation skills training to teachers and students from a total of 2000 schools. It currently provides resources to about 450 schools, and has in the last year given dedicated trainings in 80 schools.

“We have two goals with this Givealittle campaign: firstly to raise $300,000 to get peer mediation into 160 schools, and secondly to develop the project to ensure Peer Mediation will be established in each and every school in New Zealand,” says Christopher Le Breton, the Peace Foundation’s Co-General Manager.
With $300,000 we will
1). recruit 2 full time teacher trainers so that we can deliver Peer Mediation to 160 schools up and down the country;
2). Improve dramatically the online resources we provide to schools, workplaces and to the public, on practical ways to reduce conflict through Peer Mediation.

More than two decades ago, the Peace Foundation launched its peer mediation training in primary schools. It now reaches into secondary schools and, to date, there are approximately 450 schools implementing the Foundation’s programmes. The Peer Mediation Programme involves a neutral person, usually a peer, who facilitates a process to help the disputants find positive, mutually acceptable solutions to solve their problem. Mediators as young as five years old can do it successfully with their peers. Research results from the Ministry of Health and the Ministry of Education show how powerfully effective the Peer Mediation Programme is in reducing violence in school and raising pupil attainments. The programme is NZ-made and developed. It works. Kids love it (they take responsibility for their own behaviour) and teachers love it (they can refer minor conflicts to the peer mediators and enjoy hassle-free playground duty). When minor conflicts are resolved, they do not escalate into major conflicts.

New Zealand has the worst rate of family and intimate partner violence in the world. As media recently reported, a shocking 80% of incidents go unreported, so what we know of family violence in our community is barely the tip of the iceberg (The New Zealand Herald, 13 May 2016). New Zealand is at a pivotal moment in its history with its horrific family violence. The Peer Mediation Programme, proven to be effective in nurturing lifelong skills and abilities, is loved by teachers and children.

“Already we have had interest from the UK, Ireland, Pakistan, Hong Kong, Australia and Fiji to use our methods and materials. It is time to get the skills of peer mediation into every school to prevent violence, raise standards and help make our communities safer,” says Christina Barruel, the Head of Peace Education for the Peace Foundation

“The Peace Foundation has over 20 years experience teaching skills for peaceful conflict resolution, life skills for schools and families, to help prevent violence and aggression in our communities" says Christina Barruel, the Head of Peace Education for the Peace Foundation, experienced primary school teacher and accredited adult mediator with Resolution Institute.

“We’d like people from across New Zealand to join us as members and volunteers to help us raise funds to get Peer Mediation into schools and workplaces across NZ. This will increase tolerance and respect, and reduce violence and bullying”, says Christopher Le Breton


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