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Peace Talks – Chloe Lee

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 Chloe Lee from Raffles Girls’ School:

 

Q: How did you feel about the Peacemakers Conference 2017?

I absolutely loved it! Ranging from the visits to the courts and NUS law school, and to the interesting lessons and mediation exercises, it was a very enriching experience learning about mediation as a whole. The instructors for each breakout group were really cool too!

 

Q: What was your favourite part of the Conference?

Definitely the mediating competition and actually practising mediation. It was really fun working with students from other schools, to try our hand at mediation as amateurs, and of course roleplaying as well! 🙂

 

Q: What is an example of you applying what you learned in the Conference in real life?

I use what I learnt in the Peacemakers Conference all the time. I don’t panic when I am caught in the middle of an argument now, because I am clearer about what to say and the right time to say it! One example would be at home when my siblings are quarrelling – the resolution often needs someone to help both parties clear the air and talk things out!

 

Q: If you had one piece of advice for incoming participants of the Peacemakers Conference 2018, what would it be?

Have lots of fun, ask lots of questions and don’t be shy! It’s a really rare opportunity to get to experience mediation in such a fun way, so make the most out of it!

 


For more pictures and videos of the Peacemakers Conference 2017, please visit the Peacemakers Facebook Page.

As Singapore’s leading peer mediation experts, Peacemakers has an extensive track record of managing and delivering conflict resolution training for youth at both local and international levels. If you would like to train your youth to better manage conflict, let us know how we can help via email at mediate@peacemakers.sg.

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Peace Talks – Brendan Cheong

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 Brendan Cheong from Hougang Secondary School:

 

Q: How did you feel about the Peacemakers Conference 2017?

I felt that the Peacemakers Conference 2017 was very well organised with a suitable amount of time given to both theory and practical sessions.

 

Q: What was your favourite part of the Conference?

My favourite part of the Conference are the practical sessions where students get to put their mediation knowledge into practice with real-life scenarios given to us. These sessions are very fulfilling as we get to apply what we have learnt, and they also allow us to gain experience handling different people that may be involved in a situation where mediation is required.

 

Q: What is an example of you applying what you learned in the Conference in real life?

An example of me applying what I had learnt throughout the 3 days of the Conference would be a conflict that two of my best friends had. Knowing that I was in a difficult position as I could not afford to be bias in any manner, I decided to make use of my new knowledge of mediation to help me in this matter. After going through all the motions, both parties managed to reach a suitable conclusion of apologising to each other and became best friends again ever since.

 

Q: If you had one piece of advice for incoming participants of the Peacemakers Conference 2018, what would it be?

One piece of advice I would give to incoming participants would be to attend each day with an open mind. Although it might be difficult for us to focus at times, the knowledge taught is really worth the effort to stay awake for.

 


For more pictures and videos of the Peacemakers Conference 2017, please visit the Peacemakers Facebook Page.

As Singapore’s leading peer mediation experts, Peacemakers has an extensive track record of managing and delivering conflict resolution training for youth at both local and international levels. If you would like to train your youth to better manage conflict, let us know how we can help via email at mediate@peacemakers.sg.

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Peace Talks – Jeevasree

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 Jeevasree from Commonwealth Secondary School:

 

Q: How did you feel about the Peacemakers Conference 2017?

Peacemakers Conference 2017 was an amazing experience! I was able to meet so many new people and had so much fun while learning many new things that are useful in life. It was an enjoyable experience as well, since we were able to learn through fun activities while making new friends.

 

Q: What was your favourite part of the Conference?

The competition rounds were my favourite and most memorable part of the Conference. We were given the opportunity to test our mediation skills with our friends from both our schools and different schools in front of guest judges. Given a scenario, we had to either act as mediators and help solve our friends’ problems, or we had to act out as the friends in trouble. Not only were we able to get the experience of how it would feel like as a mediator, but we were also able to get feedback to improve, and also have fun in being an actor!

 

Q: What is an example of you applying what you learned in the Conference in real life?

I was able to help many of my friends whenever they had problems by better understanding their problems, and reading their facial expressions and reactions more effectively. I was also able to apply mediation and help them to solve their own problems independently.

For example, there was once when 3 of my friends were involved in a quarrel. It was taking a while for them to solve their problems and talk things through. Thus, I brought them somewhere to talk in private. I mostly sat there quietly and asked questions instead of giving them advice, to help them understand the situation and their own feelings as well as the other party’s feelings better. This helped them to find a solution together, understand each other and the situation better, and learn from their mistakes as well

 

Q: If you had one piece of advice for incoming participants of the Peacemakers Conference 2018, what would it be?

The Peacemakers Conference may seem like a waste of time at first, but always have an open mind and bond with your group to make it a more enjoyable and better experience for you. I think that the lessons learnt are actually useful in life, and many of my friends think so as well!

 


For more pictures and videos of the Peacemakers Conference 2017, please visit the Peacemakers Facebook Page.

As Singapore’s leading peer mediation experts, Peacemakers has an extensive track record of managing and delivering conflict resolution training for youth at both local and international levels. If you would like to train your youth to better manage conflict, let us know how we can help via email at mediate@peacemakers.sg.

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Peace Talks – Gwen Cheng

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 Gwen Cheng (front row, leftmost) from Commonwealth Secondary School:

 

Q: What made you sign up for Peacemakers Conference 2016?

Peer Support Leaders from Commonwealth are required to attend this conference. Since I am a PSL, I attended the conference. This was the first ever PSL event/activity that I was involved in 🙂

 

Q: How was your Peacemakers experience and what was most memorable about Peacemakers Conference 2016?

Looking back, my Peacemakers Conference was amazing. Although I felt that I could not exactly apply the lessons in school, it did give me a lot of insight about the little things that mattered like body language, word choice etc. Peacemakers Conference is unique as it fills a gap that society has – it makes the participant focus on reason and logic. As the name of the conference suggests, we’re trying to spread peace through communication and make effective use of communication to breed a more tolerant and accepting society.

My most memorable experience will definitely be the tour at the Supreme Court. We learnt a lot about the different courts, procedures, rules and more. It was not exactly applicable but it is incredibly interesting. What’s more, with law students/ mentors (mine was Shen-nen) who are more than willing to share as much info as possible with you, the experience is definitely eye-opening.

 

Q: What advice would you give to participants of the Peacemakers Conference 2018?

Three long days will seem boring and exhausting, but surprisingly information gained will always remain. Enjoy yourselves and spam as many questions as you can, because this may be the only time you’ll ever get such strong information on mediation and advice about our growing society. All the best!

 


For more pictures and videos of the Peacemakers Conference 2017, please visit the Peacemakers Facebook Page.

As Singapore’s leading peer mediation experts, Peacemakers has an extensive track record of managing and delivering conflict resolution training for youth at both local and international levels. If you would like to train your youth to better manage conflict, let us know how we can help via email at mediate@peacemakers.sg.

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Leaving the Law for Mediation

Our Managing Director, Sean Lim, was recently interviewed by The Law Gazette of Singapore about his decision to enter the mediation industry and to helm Peacemakers. The interview was published in the December 2017 issue of the Law Gazette, and is reproduced in full below.


by Alicia Zhuang

In the March 2017 issue of the Law Gazette, we spoke with lawyers who took the leap early in their careers, leaving life as employees to start their own law firm. In this issue, we chat with a law school graduate who started his career by taking over ownership of a mediation company, Peacemakers Consulting Services.

His name is Sean Lim, and he graduated from National University of Singapore with his law degree in 2015.

Alicia Zhuang (AZ): Sean, when I go to Peacemakers’ website, there are three words in big font: “mediation”, “dispute resolution” and “peace”. Can you tell us more about Peacemakers, and the significance of these words?

Sean Lim (SL): Peacemakers is a private mediation company. We hope to play our part in increasing awareness of mediation as a useful dispute resolution mechanism, and to create a more peaceful society. This is all part of our wider goal to improve social harmony and access to justice. Peacemakers is currently focused on delivering conflict management training courses to corporate clients, customised for their specific industries and corporate cultures. We also offer standardised courses for individual professionals who wish to pick up mediation and dispute resolution skills. Additionally, Peacemakers teaches secondary school students in Singapore how to resolve conflicts amicably at the annual Peacemakers Conference.

Besides our training services, Peacemakers also connects people with quality mediators in our network who are the best fit for your dispute resolution needs. We also have an “Appropriate Dispute Resolution” conference (name subject to change) in the pipeline for 2018, so please keep a lookout for that!

AZ: What is the history behind Peacemakers?

SL: Peacemakers was set up in 2011 with the vision of teaching secondary school students conflict management skills through peer mediation training. We believed that age was no barrier to being an agent of peace, and we wanted to equip and empower youth with the necessary skills for that.

With the assistance of A/Prof Joel Lee, A/Prof Lim Lei Theng, and Mr Aloysius Goh, this vision materialised into an annual not-for-profit event called the Peacemakers Conference, which is still running. We just ran the 8th edition of the Conference earlier in June!

The Conference consists of a mediation training workshop and a friendly competition segment. To date, we have trained about 500 secondary school level students from Singapore and the region. Schools pay a nominal fee of $120 per student for the 3-day Conference (and that is inclusive of us feeding and clothing them!). Interested schools can find out more from our website at http://peacemakers.sg/events/pmc/, or email us at mediate@peacemakers.sg.

Since taking over the helm at Peacemakers, I have been building it up into a training-focused company. While that also means that we are now a commercial entity, my personal commitment is that the Peacemakers Conference will still run every year on a not-for-profit basis.

AZ: How did you become the big boss at Peacemakers?

SL: This is a really long story. It all started with my admittance into NUS Law, which I was encouraged to apply to by my parents despite my personal desire to read Business instead. To date, law school is still one of the most mentally, emotionally, and spiritually challenging times of my life.

AZ: Okay I’m going to butt in here … this is definitely different from the usual stories. I’m sure everyone has heard of these ones in some form or other: “I studied Law because my family / friends / some respected person [delete as appropriate] thought that I was good at arguing with people and should therefore study law”. Or “because I was in my school’s debating team and represented my school in 1001 competitions”. Or simply, “because my JC results were good enough to get into law school”.

Why did you want to do Business? Why did your parents want you to do Law? And why was law school one of the most challenging times of your life?

SL: I grew up with parents that are both involved in business, so my personal desire to also be a businessman one day was cultivated from there. My parents, however, believed that a career as a lawyer would be more lucrative and comfortable, and a law degree would put me in better stead to do business anyway should I choose not to practice, so they encouraged me to read law instead.

I struggled a lot with my purpose and calling in law school. I was struggling to understand legal concepts, struggling to make legal analyses, and struggling to remain interested in the subject matter – basically I was a terrible law student. What made matters worse however, was that I could not see God’s purpose for sending me to law school. That lack of clarity caused me to constantly question and doubt both God and myself, and that’s not the healthiest of mindsets to work with every single day.

AZ: How did the switch to mediation happen?

SL: In Year 3, I had the privilege of taking the Mediation Workshop under A/Prof Joel Lee and Mr Aloysius Goh. That class, together with the Negotiation Workshop I took earlier that same academic year, provided me some much-needed encouragement and hope to get through that difficult period of my life. Later that same year, I was offered the chance to be a student facilitator at the Peacemakers Conference – an opportunity that I gladly took.

AZ: Why did you find the Mediation and Negotiation Workshops encouraging in comparison?

SL: The workshops provided a welcome reprieve to the rest of the “hard law” modules of law school. Classes were always fun (thanks to A/Prof Joel Lee) – so that helped! I think the thing I am most grateful for is learning the importance of self-mastery, and starting on this lifelong journey towards attaining a higher degree of control over my responses and reactions to any/every conflict situation I face. Beyond the mere equipping of the skills taught, this change of mindset towards conflict helped me to reconcile my own personal convictions with what I was learning in law school, and that was hugely encouraging for me.

AZ: So what happened when you graduated from law school?

SL: I was having great difficulty securing a training contract (“TC”). I think a lot of it could be attributed to my innate lack of interest in legal practice, despite my outward efforts to convince myself and others otherwise. I remember one particular firm’s managing partner, who was also a Christian, asking me at my interview, “Do you think God is trying to tell you something if you haven’t been offered a TC despite all your applications?” My response was that since I hadn’t heard anything from God telling me otherwise, I was just going to keep the faith that God knew what God was doing in sending me to law school, and to take the traditional route that law graduates take in getting called and entering practice. (P.S. I wasn’t offered a TC by that firm either.)

Two weeks before I was scheduled to begin the Part B course, Aloysius texted all the student facilitators from the last Peacemakers Conference to ask if we were interested in a full-time position doing mediation-related work with him at his place of employment. Since I had some flexibility of time during Part B and no TC, I agreed to help.

During the time we worked together, Aloysius and I got along so well both professionally and personally that we became good friends. I became heavily involved in all subsequent editions of the Peacemakers Conferences, and eventually ended up taking over as the Overall-In-Charge.

Subsequently, Aloysius and I left the company that the both of us were at, to pursue other opportunities. Although I explored other opportunities in the mediation industry before I left, nothing seemed to be a good match. At some point, someone (jokingly) suggested that perhaps I should take over Peacemakers from Aloysius and grow it as a private mediation service provider. After both Aloysius and I gave it some thought, it didn’t actually seem like that crazy an idea. So here we are!

AZ: You do sound different when you talk about mediation and negotiation as compared to law-law. What is it about mediation that interests you so much really?

SL: Imagine if you were sick, and went to see a doctor. If the doctor told you about a drug out there with a 70% chance of curing your illness, failing which you could pursue other forms of treatment anyway, would you take a chance on it? If you’re anything like me, you’d say yes.

That’s one of the ways that I view mediation – as a tool that we can use to solve many real world problems. Admittedly, mediation is not a panacea, and there are disputes that are not appropriate for mediation. But for most other disputes, I sincerely believe mediation can help in some way or form, even if the dispute isn’t settled at mediation itself.

What really appeals to me is that mediation is the only process that takes parties’ relationship into account. The mediator endeavours to not worsen the relationship further, and even strives to improve parties’ relationship when the opportunity to presents itself!

The world is already rife with conflict. We all have a role in shaping society’s mindset when a dispute arises. At the risk of sounding like a beauty pageant contestant, if we can move away from a confrontational approach towards something more conciliatory, we would be building a better and more peaceful society for everyone to live in. That is one of the reasons why I believe mediation is the way forward.

AZ: What has running Peacemakers been like? Tell us about the good and bad.

SL: I know this term is overused, but it’s really been a huge challenge.

Despite already having existed for a number of years, Peacemakers is essentially still a start-up. Coupled with the fact that I am running the company alone, and on my own funds – it’s really been quite the struggle. I didn’t really have the personal contacts or professional network to provide Peacemakers with a jumpstart either, so I have had to build almost everything from scratch.

My relative youth compared to my peers in the mediation industry also counts against me. Hence, I have to work harder to make up for these underlying prejudices and prove my competency. (On that note, that is also why I grew a stubble.)

AZ: Hah! Yup, I know what you mean. Many people mistake me for being much younger than I am. Boon in non-legal life. Bane in legal practice. Well … I can’t grow stubble. Some friends joked that I should put powder in my hair for that salt and pepper look. And I know someone who was wearing non-prescription glasses just so that he would come across as older and more serious.

SL: Me too! We work with what we have I suppose.

Other than the age issue, the mediation industry is also not one you’d associate with great potential for revenue generation, so that’s always a challenge for any commercially-minded entity. That said, I am grateful for supportive friends and mentors, without whom I would not even have lasted to this point.

AZ: That’s the same thing I’ve heard from other mediators. With the push for people to explore mediation before going to trial, one might think that the number of mediation cases in Singapore would have skyrocketed, and there would be many more cases for mediators. But what I have been hearing from mediator friends is that actually, mediation cases rarely land on their plate. Why is this so?

SL: I believe there are a number of reasons for this phenomenon. In terms of the absolute number of cases, I do believe that it has been increasing steadily. Singapore Mediation Centre (SMC) reported a record high of almost 500 cases last year, and I am fairly certain that there are similar increases in various other mediation bodies and schemes, especially those under the courts or other ministries. This is a testament to the amount of work everyone has been putting into growing the mediation industry, and are the fruits of their labour.

That said, I believe that the majority of cases fall under the court system (which include family cases and small claims, etc). Only specific individuals and panels are allowed to mediate those cases under the court system, and most of these schemes have stopped taking volunteer mediators. That leaves the rest of us with a much smaller remainder of cases to mediate. Of these remainder cases, the majority are referred to the established mediators in the country, which leaves an even smaller percentage for the rest of us.

The reality is that there are a couple hundred mediators in the market waiting for the remainder of those cases. With that in mind, you can understand why it is not unusual to hear of recently accredited mediators only receiving a case every 2 years or so. Hopefully, as the industry continues to grow and further efforts are made to professionalise mediation, that the entire ecosystem will scale accordingly, and there will be a decent volume of work for all our professional mediators in Singapore.

AZ: Then how are you finding the money to keep the company running and support yourself?

SL: Hahaha, I’m not! I am running Peacemakers on my savings alone, and there is no safety net or backup plan. Thankfully, I also have no real dependants to support at this time. So, Peacemakers will continue to operate for as long as I have the finances to keep this going … or until my parents decide to kick me out of the house.

AZ: Ouch. Given all these factors, why’d you decide to take over the company? Why not start out by joining an established mediation service provider?

SL: Not being affiliated with any one particular mediation institution has also allowed me to befriend and collaborate with all of them. I have also been enjoying the flexibility associated with being my own boss, especially in terms of how I can choose to spend my time. For instance, I am also the head of the Worship Ministry in my church, and running the ministry takes up a lot of my time and attention – scarce resources which I am less likely able to afford if I had to account to someone other than myself.

Not being in practice has also allowed me to support my friends who are practising lawyers, because that way they do not have to burden a learned friend with their woes, but still obtain some semblance of mental and emotional support from someone who knows a bit of their struggles at work.

AZ: Now that you have finished your law degree, ever thought of studying Business?

SL: I would be lying if I said I hadn’t thought about it! But instead of learning about it in a classroom, now I’m learning from the school of hard knocks. Some might say the lessons taught by the latter are more effective too.

AZ: Do you think you will ever practise law?

SL: In the timeless words of Joe Cocker: Who knows what tomorrow brings? Perhaps one day God will tell me to finally get called to the Bar and to enter practice. For now though, Peacemakers is my priority.

AZ: Where do you see yourself and Peacemakers in 5 years?

SL: This is a question I often get, and one I always have difficulty answering.

My honest response is … I have no idea. I sincerely hope that I will still be involved in the mediation circle, and that I would have established some form of credibility through my work with Peacemakers. By then, hopefully Peacemakers will be established as a reputable private dispute resolution service provider, driving the growth of Singapore’s mediation industry alongside our established mediation institutions.

My dream is also for Peacemakers Conferences to be held not just in Singapore but in our neighbouring countries as well, and that the seeds of peacemaking are sowed in our youth in the hopes of leaving behind a better world for the future.

Simultaneously, I am cognisant of the commercial realities and the real possibility that this venture might not succeed, which may force me to explore something else eventually so that I can feed myself and my family. Perhaps a better time to ask me this question again would be in 3 years, when I can answer you with 2020 vision instead!

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Peace Talks – Sherlynn Oh

Hello Peacemakers!

This is the beginning of our interview series, “Peace Talks”, in the run-up to Peacemakers Conference 2017. For our first post, we have Sherlynn Oh Min Yee (middle row, rightmost) from Yishun Town Secondary School:

Why did you choose to participate in Peacemakers Conference 2016?

I was chosen by the teacher in charge of the monitor council, Mr Ten to sign up for Peacemaker Conference 2016. Before making my decision, I went to read up about the conference and felt that it would enrich my experience as a monitor. As a monitor, I am supposed to resolve fights and arguments in my class. By signing up for Peacemakers Conference, I will get to learn how to better communicate with my classmates and be more neutral when mediating conflicts.

How was your experience at Peacemakers 2016?

At the start of the Peacemakers Conference, I was rather afraid as I did not have prior experience mediating. I was also worried that I would not get along well with other students from other schools. However, we had ice breakers games to get to know each other and by the end of the Conference, we all became friends!

The Peacemakers Conference was very enriching as I got to role play different characters. The role-playing exercise was the most memorable part of the conference. We had to act as either the party or the mediator with students from other schools and thus had the chance to interact and work with them. The trainers were also there to watch and gave us feedback on how to improve. Through these role plays, I got to experience how both parties would feel which enabled me to be more sensitive with my words when handling an argument in my class.

Could you share with us your experiences being a finalist at the friendly competition!

I did not expect myself to be chosen as a finalist! I was worried that I would make mistakes during the competition. During the finals, my partner and I had to co-mediate a scenario which was roleplayed by the trainers in front of everyone. I was afraid that I would not do well and let the teachers down but my partner kept on encouraging me. In the end, even though I made a few mistakes during the competition, I felt a sense of accomplishment and satisfaction as I managed to apply whatever I had learnt. After the competition, I became more confident when mediating conflicts in my class and felt more courageous to speak in front of a group of people. I was glad that I had the opportunity to participate in the competition as it really enabled me to step out of my comfort zone!

What advice would you give to participants of Peacemakers Conference 2017?

For participants of Peacemaker Conference 2017, do not be afraid to try even if you do not have any prior experience in mediation. Your friends will be by your side supporting you throughout the journey and it will be an enriching experience for you. It is normal to feel nervous and worried at the start, but as you progress, you will slowly build your confidence and be an outstanding mediator. Most importantly, don’t give up when you face any problems and have fun!!

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Peace Talks – Chua Ting Fang

The Peacemakers Conference 2017 will commence in one day! For our final edition of “Peace Talks” before the Conference, Chua Ting Fang (second from left), a former facilitator, shares her thoughts:

Why did you choose to become a facilitator at the Peacemakers Conference?

I had the good fortune of being taught mediation by Joel back in NUS, and it was from him that I first heard about the Peacemakers Conference. He was seeking volunteer facilitators from students who have gone through the course, and I thought- what a great idea! To be part of a conference where mediation skills will be taught to young students, and where I can offer some perspective and learn from/alongside them as well. Naturally, I signed up immediately.

I did so because I strongly believe in mediation, and I still think that the earlier these skills are taught to young minds, the better. I think the extent to which there is conflict and confusion in this world is also the extent of opportunity for better communication. I think that all of us fall prey to assumptions and preconceptions that inform (and distort) our interpretations of the world. In learning to mediate, we become acutely aware of this as we strive to help parties uncover a common understanding of their conflict through a sort-of “facilitated conversation”. To me, this is what’s beautiful about mediation, so of course I thought this conference was a great idea!

How was it like being a facilitator at the Conference?

Equal parts fun and tiring. Mostly because I live on the other end of the island, and we had to reach school before the kids to prepare for the day ahead. The conference itself was a really good experience. I was humbled by how quickly the students picked up the mediation skills taught to them. It was really heartening to see how much the students improved with each round of practice and feedback. By the final round, the students mediated as though they had way more mediation experience than the few short days of the conference! I was honestly pretty impressed, given that it took us law students a full semester to learn and practise these skills under Joel and Marcus.

What advice would you give to the facilitators of Peacemakers Conference 2017?

Have a positive outlook! Facilitation is not without its challenges. You’ll have to respond to different things each new day of the conference – so be observant, and be flexible! Be like water and make changes if you have to. Take time to mingle with the students and feel young in the process. Or old… I personally felt the latter. But yes, like I said, positive outlook!

 

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Peace Talks – Jocelyn Koh

For the second segment of our interview series, “Peace Talks”, we are featuring a former facilitator, Jocelyn Koh (third from left):

Why did you choose to become a facilitator at the Peacemakers Conference?

I was first roped in by Aloysius and Sean in 2015 to help organise and facilitate the Conference. I returned again in 2016 to help Sean, who needed support as he did not have sufficient facilitators to help with the Conference. However, as much as I would love to continue helping out for this year’s Conference, I am unable to make it due to work commitments.

How was it like being a facilitator at the Conference?

To be honest, it was actually pretty tiring. As a facilitator, we had to engage with the students, facilitate the conference and judge mediation rounds. That being said, it was personally a very fulfilling experience for me to be able to play a part in educating youths on conflict resolution skills (and watching them grow throughout the conference), and also learning myself from the conference speakers in the course of the various conference sessions.

What advice would you give to the facilitators of Peacemakers Conference 2017?

Go in with an open mind – you would benefit and learn from the Conference in ways you’d never expect. And most importantly, have fun!

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Peace Talks – Denise Tay

Our third segment of “Peace Talks” features our former facilitator, Denise Tay (third from left):

Why did you choose to become a facilitator at the Peacemakers Conference?

I had taken the negotiation module with Joel earlier in the academic year, and when this opportunity came around, I thought it would be interesting to see how the skills could be translated and taught to be secondary school students as well. I mostly took photographs during the conference, so that gave me the birds-eye view of what was happening during the conference.

How was it like being a facilitator at the Conference?

It was eye-opening to see the wide applicability of mediation and how it can benefit any one at all. It was also interesting to see what others thought of mediation, especially through the group presentations. One of the analogies was mediation as a cactus!

How were the students at the Conference?

They did pick up the theories and skills related to mediation very quickly, and this was probably due to their willingness to learn throughout the conference.

What advice would you give to the facilitators of Peacemakers Conference 2017?

Have a fun and enriching time! I learnt a lot about what I knew, but even more about what I didn’t.

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