The CMGVRW trainers have successfully implemented the MEDIATION4ROMA training program in Brussels, Belgium. On the 16th, 17th and 18th of September, the face-to-face sessions gathered people of various backgrounds: members of the Roma community, Travelers, men, women, natural mediators (volunteers) and employed mediators. The diversity inherent to this group turned out to be a particularly enriching factor throughout the training and the many interactions that arose from it.
Those three days of learning, collective thinking and exchange of experiences allowed the group to reflect in-depth on the key principles of intercultural mediation work, as well as to better capture the specificities and nuances of the European perspective on this matter (notably through the analysis of recent CoE recommendations and of the Code of Ethics).
On the third day, which focused on the specific issue of employment, we invited three professionals from different services affiliated to the Ministry of Employment. Their presentations provided our participants with efficient tools for job seeking, as well as with a better understanding of the institutional structure of employment in Belgium (distribution of competences, duties of the institutions, rights and obligations of the workers/job seekers, etc.).
The discussions that ensued also allowed our participants to ask specific questions belonging to cases they met, which further illustrated the concrete implications of the Belgian legislation in terms of employment and right to social security.
Soon after, the online part followed and is ongoing to this day. The CMGVRW thus engaged in the setting up of the online part of the training, developing an e-learning approach to intercultural mediation work for the first time. With a view to guarantee a solid and fruitful acquisition of competences, we made sure that the online part follows the guidelines and contents settled by the MEDIATION4ROMA partners, and is at the same time adapted to the needs and interests of our participants.
We rent a computer room for three days in consideration of potential computer-related issues (no PC at home or no internet connection, problems using the online platform, etc.). By doing so, we also wished to answer the need for some to benefit from a little guidance on digital literacy matters.
Overall, the MEDIATIONROMA project has been a positive and interesting experience and a rewarding involvement for all parties engaged in the training, from its organization to its implementation.