You can Change the World

Do I think I can change the world? Yes 100% absolutely I do. I think you can change the world too. Everyone of you. How! I hear you ask. Well, the basic premise is this: if I manage to change one life for the better, just one life, I have changed the world. No?

-Sheena Jonker


As always, I blog in peace. And this morning I blog from a very cold Johannesburg. I am here to run our 5 day ADR Training Program in mediation and arbitration. As it is school holidays, my kids, Che and Luc-Michael have accompanied me. This makes it a sweet deal. I love to have them with me and they get to hang with their cousin Gem and also their grandparents. Our program administrator Carrie is here with her daughter Grace as well.

On our program this week we have an amazing mixing of trainees: some dynamic lawyers, business people, someone from SAPS, a representative of child welfare and five clergy members from SA Council of Churches.

In addition to the normal benchmarked standards, we always bring aspects to our program gleaned from practice and ongoing research and so this week we start to crystallize concepts in non-violent communication and the pursuit of justice non-adversarially. We look at designing restorative processes that can live well within current formal systems. And we also look at making the shift from mere dispute settlement to actual dispute resolution.

Do I think I can change the world? Yes 100% absolutely I do. I think you can change the world too. Everyone of you. How! I hear you ask. Well, the basic premise is this: if I manage to change one life for the better, just one life, I have changed the world. No?

The thing about changing lives, is that you never no who you are dealing with. You never know who the person in front of you is destined to become. You never know how many lives that person may influence. And you never know…it may have all started with an encounter with you.

Today we fly in human rights activist Larissa Klazinga. She is from RhodesUniversity and one of the projects she does there is the annual silent protest. She will be sharing some amazing stuff on finding common ground.

My DreamCo co-director will also be flying in Thursday in order to capture some of our role plays Friday, so if you haven’t yet, you need to subscribe to our You Tube channel.

If you missed our five day program and are still keen to learn from us, we also run our main program via correspondence with attendance at four half day seminars in each centre. We are currently able to offer you a spot at 50% of the normal fee, so drop us an email if you need info on that

We have been invited to be accredited as a private dispute resolution agency with a CCMA. We are honoured and this will enhance our panellists’ opportunities with us. That should conclude around mid-august.

Please send me your emails on Follow me on Twiiter @sheena_ostjon and like our page on facebook for daily updates

Until next time, peace.





Front Page News


ADR Network SA continues to contend for peace and justice for all through it’s commitment to non-adversarial methods of dispute resolution such as mediation.

Our full ADR Program is designed to up-skill trainees in general principles of mediation and arbitration with electives available in Commercial Dispute Resolution, Family and Divorce Dispute Resolution, Insurance Dispute Resolution, Consumer Matters Dispute Resolution, Credit Matters Dispute Resolution, Sectional Title Dispute Resolution, Non-Adversarial Methods and Restorative Justice in Criminal Justice and Medical Negligence and Personal Injury Dispute Resolution.

Our main program is offered via distance learning and may be completed over 12 months. Trainees are required to attend four half day seminars. The ADR Program is also offered over a period of five days in a workshop environment. Our Programs are benchmarked against national and international standards. However they also contain significant elements of our ongoing research and learnings from the practice of dispute resolution. We are currently working on a body of work in non-violent communication and have started to introduce components of this into all our programs. We also teach a culture of honour as the basis for dispute resolution, inspired by the work of Danny Silk.

We have also recently formally introduced Restorative Justice into our programs as well as systems design which teaches our trainees how to incorporate and design restorative processes within existing formal processes.

We work hard to inspire people and organizations from all sectors of society to shift from a punitive justice mindset backed by adversarial methods of dispute resolution in schools, workplaces and legal disputes to non-adversarial methods of achieving justice and ultimately restoration. Our concept of justice is broadly-speaking one in which all are restored to where they should be in the human experience.

We are  proud to announce as a joint initiative of DreamCo (Pty) LTD and ADR Network SA (Pty) LTD, the Access to Justice Foundation will soon be launched. This will be a space to:

1. Provide ongoing research, writing and speaking about non-adversarial and non-viloent methods of dispute resolution

2. Provide pro bono services to ensure Access to Justice to those who cannot afford it in Collaboration with ADR Network SA

3. Produce documentaries and other Public Service Announcements around Human Rights issues in South Africa, in collaboration with DreamCo

4. Continue Lobbying and Activism for ADR and non-adversarial processes at all levels of society

5. Protest Work in Gender Violence

6. Continue

7. Lobbying for just trade methods and for access to the economy for all. Two such initiatives will be

a) The Launch of a Range of Designer Clothing under the Access to Justice Brand Identity in Collaboration with an award-winning designer who seeks to transform exploitative practices within the clothing industry

b) Key hole garden project to set up sustainable food gardens for impoversihed families

Our next five day Program runs in Johannesburg from 24-28 June 2013

Please get in touch if you wish to attend