About this Project

In January of 2016 COCREF implemented IIRP (International Institute for Restorative Practices) Training for Restorative Conferences. The training was facilitated by Diane Stronks, Anne Martin, and Guillermo Yan. This was facilitator training for Restorative Practices, and provided international certification for all the participants. 

Each morning began with devotions, led by Diane Stronks, Alejandrina Jorge, Guillermo Yan and Mario Matos.  This was followed by a restorative circle facilitated by Anne Martin.  These circle experiences allowed participants to interact with the techniques taught and modeled each day by the facilitators.

The participants worked through various scenarios of restorative meetings; each took different roles that allowed them to experience the emotions from different points of view. Each scenario related to situations similar to the ones experienced by the participants in their work environment.

The event concluded with the certification of 14 principals, 7 counselors and 8 teachers, now trained to facilitate Restorative Practice Conferences. This was the first phase of COCREF's Restorative Practices project and was oriented to the training of administrative personnel and school counseling. The second phase hopes to be directed to the central management team and their support team, leading towards the long term objective COCREF has of seeking to create a culture of restorative practice in their schools.

Highlights of the Walking Together project included: 
• The relevance of the subject. As result, participants were interested and actively participating through the whole event.
• The scenarios that allowed participants to facilitate restorative meetings, which gave them the opportunity to explore the implications of this role.
• The circles at the beginning and ending of each day.
• Implementation plans that could be created by participant schools.
• Application of restorative practices by the participants to other areas of their lives.

Points for prayer:
• Pray that participants can find ways to share the process and support each other by sharing successes and challenges.
• Continued support for participants to be able to implement the Restorative Practices training, to ensure that these practices are able to impact their schools.

This project was supported in part by Shalem Mental Health Network.  Read an article on their webpage relating to their experience with this valuable project.

Diane Stronks is the Executive Director for Edifide and has served COCREF multiple times through Walking Together projects.  Anne Martin is the Director of Restorative Practice Services at Shalem Mental Health Network.

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