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WPDI Conducts Conflict Resolution Education Training in Tijuana-Based Primary Schools

January 28, 2019 - The Whitaker Peace & Development Initiative (WPDI) recently began teaching conflict resolution education (CRE) intervention sessions at two schools in Tijuana. The trainings, conducted at Raza de Bronce and Lazaro Cardenas primary schools, reach 134 students - 74 boys and 60 girls. These sessions are a continuation of last year’s CRE program in primary and secondary schools in Tijuana, which trained 300 students at nearly a half-dozen schools.

These courses are part of our efforts to teach youths about the importance of conflict mediation and peacebuilding, so as to transform often violence-affected school campuses into places of peace and learning. To this aim, WPDI’s CRE in schools program specifically works with younger students, as they are at a critical age when their value systems are still being shaped. Our expert trainers will teach these 134 students - over a three-month period - about attitudes and behaviors conducive to dialogue, non-violence, and peaceful coexistence. Throughout the coming year, they will do so at additional primary and secondary schools throughout Tijuana, strengthening the impact of WPDI in these areas. The program has proven to be remarkably successful in Mexico, the United States, Uganda, and South Sudan - demonstrating that peace can be actively promoted even by children and teenagers.

In the coming months, students at the two schools will learn about a wide variety of CRE-related topics. Those include ones on mediation, conflict styles, power dynamics, communications, and negotiation, which will help address preexisting issues at the schools such as bullying. Although they are young, all of the students have shown positivity and interest in the training topics thus far.

WPDI staff look forward to working with the students in the coming months. As they continue to learn and grow, we have no doubt that they will become transformative peacebuilders within their communities.