by Shashi Regmi, Nepal
The fourth day of the Symposium continued with the facilitation workshop organized by Michael Shipler and Rajendra Mulmi, from SFCG.
A question from a participant about how to build trust between divided communities inspired the speakers, who showed a short documentary about a trust-building workshop organized by SFCG in Nepal. Thus, the speakers conducted a similar exercise, by dividing the participants in small groups, in order to make us experience the group dynamics of a conflict. Besides that, they also showed us which tools to use in order to become a good facilitator.
However, the best part of all the training was to learn how to design a dialogue process. By building on a case study which we had analyzed the day before, five small groups had to formulate their own project design, conduct a dialogue which included the challenges like framing the issue, choosing a convener or facilitator, implementing appropriate facilitation skills, laying ground rules, creating an agreement and supporting the implementation. By the end of the two day session on facilitation I learned a lot of practical skills. I had learned theories on mediation during my MA course in International Peace Studies at Notre Dame, and this course run by SFCG on facilitation supplemented my knowledge to make it one complete package.