A series of four two-day training sessions were completed successfully in February 2020, bringing the number of trained social mediators to over 70. The training sessions were implemented between November 2019 and February 2020 and were open to participants from across the island of Cyprus. Participants had the opportunity to observe the training in English, with the option of translation for Greek and Turkish speakers. The four training sessions were delivered by ICLAIM resident member Dr Katerina Antoniou and ICLAIM researcher and PhD Candidate Nadia Kornioti. The project is coordinated by ICLAIM director Dr Natalie Alkiviadou, and all activities have been kindly supported by the British High Commission in Cyprus.

Participants shared positive feedback with the trainers, engaged in rigorous and insightful discussions, and were excited to apply the tool and receive more training in future opportunities. With the completion of the training sessions, ICLAIM invited all participants to join the island-wide Social Mediators Network, which is set to launch in 2020-2021. The ICLAIM team has also submitted a proposal to the Pusula funding campaign for the creation of an online platform that will provide further assistance and coordination to the Network. Supporters can log onto www.cypruspusula.org and vote for the Social Mediators Network idea.

Social Mediation is a tool that uses facilitated dialogue in a non-formal way to assist the resolution of existing community conflicts (intergroup or interpersonal) and prevent future ones.  ICLAIM’s Social Mediation initiative aims to continue training and empowering active citizens across Cyprus to use this tool effectively in their various social and professional circles. The initiative’s upcoming activity is the Social Mediators Conference.  A date for the conference is yet to be finalized due to the recent coronavirus developments. For more information, and to express an interest in participating, you can email Dr Katerina Antoniou at kantoniou@iclaimcentre.org.

For additional information, news, and updates on the Social Mediators Network Launch and Conference, please follow the initiative on Facebook at:  https://www.facebook.com/Social-Mediation-in-Practice-2019-2020-108013757284510