New tools to facilitate training of mediators – a Massive Open Online Course
The EU project IncludeMe has developed materials to train mediators for European countries. At the end of the project in October, the team was able to present a MOOC, a Good Practice Guide and an Innovative Course for Trainers.
A mediator is a person who has been trained to provide support on issues such as immigration law, family reunification, government services and labour market integration. Mediators are already used in several places across Europe and have proven to be a successful way of working with new arrivals. You can find mediators in, for example, educational organisations and the municipal sector, but also in the voluntary sector. The aim of the IncludeME project has been to strengthen and train skills related to mediation, communication, conflict resolution and conflict management.
Intercultural mediation can be seen as a key strategy for social inclusion and cohesion. Mediation helps to support conflict prevention, increase mutual understanding between parties with different cultural backgrounds and beliefs. It also supports knowledge of rights and access to community services. A guiding principle of the project has been the objectives set by the EU in the Europe 2020 strategy, which states that a higher level of social inclusion is more important than ever to combat tensions in society. To this end, the project team has developed a MOOC course consisting of five different modules covering 24 different areas, all of which are made up of short learning sections, exercises and learning links that provide a deeper understanding of what mediation is all about: being a present, fair and trustworthy person who helps in situations where difficulties may arise, for example due to bureaucracy, cultural differences or language. The course is primarily intended for online learning, it is freely available and free to use.
By training immigrants, refugees and people in the social sector in mediation, the project can contribute to a change in the social dynamics of society.
The poject ”IncludeMe: Inclusion through mediation” is co-funded by the Erasmus+ of the European Union. It has been led by Åbo Akademi University in Finland and project partners are: European Universities Continuing Education Network in Belgium, European E-learning Institute in Denmark, Momentum Marketing Services Limited in Irland, Tuzla Kaymakamlığı in Turkiet and Fundacio Solidaritat UB in Spanien.