All are used to perceive conflict as a negative phenomenon that leads to the end of relationships and total misunderstanding of the parties. However, few people think that conflict is an integral part of the evolution of human relationships. The truth is born in a dispute, but the most significant is to find this truth with minimal losses.
Restorative practices, which are exercised by the team of the "Institute for Peace and Common Ground", have become innovative for Ukraine. For the first time people have found out about the possibility of resolving conflicts peacefully, a chance to participate in conflict-resolution and determine a future of this solution. They have also learned about an ability to hear each other and correct damage.
Since that time, mediation has begun to develop rapidly in Ukraine. However, we should understand that this is just one of the restorative practices` techniques. Restorative approach is complex and involves several components: the values, principles and tools.
All this comprises an approach that is focused not only on conflict resolution, but also on the empowerment of people, fulfillment of the interests of all parties and teach everyone the practice of peaceful conflict-resolution.
Depending on the field the approach is applied, it has several definitions:
- in conflict resolution – co-operative approach: provides the principle of parties` self-determination and respect for freedom and human dignity,
- in solving criminal situations – restorative approach: recognizes a right of a delinquent, victim and community to discuss the consequences of a crime and to agree on ways of the damage correction and prevention similar situations in the future,
- in the learning process – an approach of involved learning: provides consideration of the experience of studying process participants, critical thinking, reflection and planning of the steps of the acquired knowledge and skills application in practice,
- in projects for development – an approach based on human rights, as it is also focused on the principles of maximum involvement of the target audience / users of services, the respect for their rights and freedoms, building their capacity and responsibility of the government or obliged subjects.
The approach helps the practitioners understand WHAT exactly they should know and in what should be skilled, HOW and WHY they should do it and WHO should be a facilitator – the one who helps people find lost understanding and peace, which values and ideas he should follow.
We help people to restore dialogue to overcome problems and find the truth that very often is common to all parties of the conflict. And if we consider the conflict as personal development and the amplification of relationships between people, we trigger harmonious and efficient progress.