In our interview series, entitled “Peace Talks”, we speak to peacemakers with different backgrounds and life stories, and ask them to share their thoughts and reflections.
This edition of “Peace Talks” features Sudheer Kumar Girish from Commonwealth Secondary School:
Q: How was your overall experience at the Peacemakers Conference 2018?
It was an enjoyable and enriching experience in which I managed to learn a lot more about mediation and become a better mediator in general, also with a great company of people! Although there was this prevailing atmosphere of tension and fear that probably lurked in every other participant’s minds due to competitive nature of the Conference, the hospitality offered by the facilitators managed to make a gradual transition from that to a Conference that was exciting and fun rather quickly!
Q: What was the most unforgettable part of the Conference for you?
The most unforgettable part would be the various discussions we managed to have within pockets of friends that weren’t limited to our school. The Conference was an opportunity to meet students from different schools and backgrounds, rooted with the same interest to encourage peacekeeping within our own friends. The discussions and outing within those groups itself during the Conference only served to strengthen the bonds we forged. It’s an unforgettable experience, to be put in that kind of environment where we have people with a common, shared interest and really relate to one another whilst having fun and learning.
Q: What is an example of you applying what you learned in the Conference in real life?
As a mediator, I’ve managed to pick up language which entails empathy. Through the various problems and situations presented, as well as the true simulation of the actual conflict as the core part of the competition, I’ve acclimatised myself to handling conflicts, and learnt to empathise in-depth with others, while paying close attention to their word choice. Through the conference, a major skill I’ve picked up was the ability to empathise with others to a deep degree. Although there was no direct conflict between two parties that I had experienced after Conference, as a friend, I’ve managed to empathise with my friends better and comfort them better in times of difficulty. I am deeply grateful for the Conference that managed to equip me with such pertinent skills.
Q: If you could give one piece of advice to the incoming participants of the Peacemakers Conference 2019, what would you tell them?
Don’t let Peacemakers Conference be a competition –– it’s a lovely experience that nurtures you!! Let it be an avenue to develop your passion in mediating and problem-solving 😀 Stay confident and trust yourself enough to help others with the skills that you’ve picked up during the Conference!
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