In Canada, CCRC Canada has been in operation since 1983, offering workshops and courses across the country. From its small office in Ottawa, the CCRC Canada provides workshops and courses for teachers, parents and care givers to learn the techniques of teaching children how to resolve conflicts without violence.
CONFLICT RESOLUTION-A NEW APPROACH
Recognizing that the seeds of violence and aggression are sown in children at an early age, CCRC focuses on getting at the roots and changing age-old patterns. CCRC also emphasizes the fact that conflict resolution is an ongoing process and does not happen in isolation. It is not simply a matter of quick-fixes, magical solutions, and techniques. In order for conflict resolution techniques and skills to be integrated into children's lives, they need to happen within a safe, supportive, and nurturing atmosphere. CCRC focuses on creating such an atmosphere through its firs three themes: Cooperation, Communication, and Affirmation. These establish a firm foundation for the fourth CCRC theme of Conflict Resolution which focuses on empowering children to act responsibly and to deal with conflict so that no one is hurt either physically or emotionally.
CCRC is an experimental program. Our activities and approaches provide participants with new ways to explore conflict and to develop solutions. Participants have fund while strengthening skills and learning alternative approaches and techniques in the following four theme areas:
Successful conflict resolution is based on the contributions of everyone involved and on mutually acceptable decisions and solutions. Participants learn this process through cooperative games and activities and through learning exercises which help them work together toward a common goal. This creates a sense of community and co-responsibility.
Conflict often results from - or escalates because of - the misinterpretations, misunderstandings, and assumptions which arise from poor communication. In the CCRC classroom, participants develop a sense of trust and sharing through learning ("letting it be known") in respectful ways, and attentive/active listening; all essential components of successful conflict resolution.
Mutual respect, appreciation, and acceptance of others and their points of view are necessary elements in conflict resolution. Participants learn this through affirmation activities which focus on recognizing and accepting the positive qualities and abilities in themselves and others. They examine and learn how to deal with put-downs, labels, stereotypes, and other forms of attack on their self-esteem and dignity.
Through skits, role-playing, story-reading, puppetry, and other activities, participants develop skills and resources for dealing with the conflicts in which they might actually find themselves. Participants explore alternative solutions to conflicts and cooperate in finding the one which has the best chance of working, i.e., "the win-win" solution which is acceptable to all involved.
The Friendly Classroom for a Small Planet, 130 pp., with techniques and exercises for children K-6, $18.00 Can.
Children's Songs for a Friendly Planet, 112 p., $13.00
"He Hit Me Back First!" Creative Visualization activities for parents and teachers, by Eva Pugitt, $20.00 Can.
"C'est lui qui a commencÚ le premier", par Eva Pugitt, $20.00 Can.
In 1986, a nuclear reactor at a power plant in Chernobyl, Ukraine, exploded and the repercussions were felt around the world. Belarus, a small country north of the Ukraine, received over 70 per cent of the radioactive fallout.
Conservative estimates suggest that over 40 per cent of the territory has been contaminated. Areas once considered clean are experiencing frightening increases in radiation related illnesses, as the fallout pervades the food chain like a malignancy.
Children are the most vulnerable. Eight hundred thousand children are estimated to live in the contaminated areas. In 1985 there were three reported cases of thyroid cancer in the children of Belarus, in the year after the disaster, there were three hundred.
The CRFCVB was formed to provide medical relief to the people of Belarus. This non-profit, non-denominational organization has been collecting and sending medical equipment and supplies to Belarus since 1989.
In 1991, the CRFCVB brought seventy-nine Belarussian children between the ages of eight and twelve to Canada for a period of six weeks. In 1995 over four hundred children were given respite from the ravages of radiation.
Health and Welfare Canada tested the radiation levels of children who came to Canada during the first two years of the program and found that the level of radiation (Cesium) in their bodies was reduced or even eliminated in six weeks.
Follow-up has shown that the children who participate in the program, return to their country with a marked improvement in their immune system, and an increased level of health for the following year.
The children return with a year's supply of vitamins, which is believed to be the most important factor in maintaining their health.
In addition to hosting children in the summer program the CRFCVB has brought doctors to Canada, from Belarus, to study the treatment of childhood illnesses.
In 1995, seed money was provided to the University of Western Ontario to set up a dental clinic at the university in Minsk, and to initiate a dental program that trains Belarussian students in modern dentistry.
An entire cardiac diagnostic unit and an ultrasound machine was donated to the hospital in Chausey.
Children have been brought to Canada for medical treatment that could not be provided in Belarus.
Medicine was sent to a group of children in Gomel who are suffering from diseases of the blood.
In the first four years of the program, administration costs were kept below one per cent (of donations), due to the tremendous contribution of volunteers. In 1994, with an objective of brining three hundred children, a half-time office administrator was hired. For the most part, it is the Canadian host families who ensure that the work of the CRFCVB continues through their volunteer and fund-raising efforts.
Jim Baldwin, a member of the fund's executive, visited six orphanages in Belarus in 1994, and as a result of his visit, 16 orphaned children were brought to Canada in 1995 as a part of the fund's children's program. While in Canada, the children received medical and dental care, and two went home with prescription glasses. Twenty-eight boxes of medical, dental and school supplies were sent to the orphanages when the children returned. Food parcels have also been sent to the orphanages on an ongoing basis, and the fund has secured a commitment to continue this support.