The whole project of CoMedY (Community Mediation for Youth) was a tool itself. The main goal was in fact harnessing the mediation whenever a conflict could arise, which can be put in place either on local community basis and in the field of international youth mobility work.
That became clear after the conclusion of the project. It took two years (from March 2016 to February 2018) and many experiences into working, educational and family contexts, it came out that using methods of community mediation really help in solving critical situations. Besides, what has to be reminded is that Community Mediation is first of all a way of life than merely a method.
The participants started their work from the analysis of the needs and the necessities of the communities they went to visit. Then, after building a strong connection and acquiring a direct knowledge of the surrounding context, they set their goals and objectives.
A complete toolkit is available on the CoMedY website. Here below the working methods.
Development of local projects:
“The participants could be roughly divided into two groups: youth workers and coordinators of the partner organizations, and young volunteers. The first explored the Community Mediation methodology and tried to understand how to apply it in the different local contexts, both during the Training Courses and through study visits in Latin America. Volunteers of the European Voluntary Service underwent a preliminary period of volunteering in their respective sending organizations and local communities. At the same time, they received baseline training on the Community Mediation approach in order to contribute to the implementation of a Community Mediation-inspired local project (…) The Portuguese representative went to Mexico, the Italian one to Argentina and the Spanish referent went to Peru.”
This way, it was possible for all the participants to acquire the right working method, adjusting it to the specific needs and necessities of the locals. That was crucial for the whole Community Mediation concept: to understand the social parts involved in the critical situation and to make them main actors of the decision making process is in fact the pivotal part of the mediation.
Then there was the involvement of stakeholders, plus two representatives for every participant organization. For the European, the training courses took part before the departure, in order to get familiar with the concept and the methods of Community Mediation and to be able to put them properly in place, being already familiar with the approach.
Eventually, the final evaluation represented a great tool to get an overall idea of the results of the project, the efficiency of the methods, the impact either on the participants and on the EVS volunteers that took place to the exchange and, in the end, to reflect upon what was left after the project had ended.
For a more specific description of the project and its tools, here you will find the complete toolkit, with a complete overview of the main notions and concepts for a correct approach to the Community Mediation.