Our Dear Friends,
I greet you in peace and trust the start of 2015 has been a good one for you. Herewith some news and important updates:
1. Website Compromise
As I sent out my last communication, our website was hacked and our ISP took it down temporarily. Whilst it seems all the info is still there, our webmaster is rebuilding the backend so I look forward to learning about new stuff we can do with it. Apologies if you could not access that news
2. Upcoming Training
16-20 Feb Jozi/Durban/Bloem.
9-13 March Durban
16-20 March Cape Town/PE
The cost is R 11 999 for the full days or R 1000 for the Thursday which can be undertaken as a one day on Court Annexed Mediation for those with prior training
Please note we now have 6/12 or 24 month payment options on the five day programs
3. Distance Learning
This is a year long program which is content-rich and research based. It can be undertaken over a shorter period and there are a number of specialist elective areas to choose from
Contact times are optional but 4 half days are included at no further charge throughout the year
We also plan to use the webinar platform more strongly this year
Cost is R 11 999 or payment over 6/12 or 24 months
4. Tough Minds, Tender Hearts conference
This is for lawyers, ADR Practitioners, Activists, Creatives, Gardeners and others interested in developing full spectrum peace-making. It will be an amazing time to either advance what you do or establish yourself in the work of Peacemaking
5. Administrative Requirements
If you need certificates, assessments, material or anything else of an Admin Nature, Sipho Madlala is your go to guy. Contact him on firstname.lastname@example.org. His Cell number is 0820927425
6. Facebook and Twitter
Daily I publish useful info on all my social pages. From available jobs, to needs we have in matters which are sometimes pro bono, and also significant court judgements or info on public hearings. I also post some interesting anecdotal stuff and its a great way to engage the world in what we do. If you would like to please follow me on Twitter @sheena_ostjon or friend me on Facebook Sheena St Clair Jonker. You can also follow me on Pinterest or Instagram where I often post the more visual aspects of where we go and what we do. I am very happy to share work that you do that advances ADR, Restorative Justice and Access to Justice.
7. Access to Justice
The need out there currently exceeds our capacity. If you are keen to help resource our work in any of the following ways, please get in touch:
1. Offering Pro Bono ADR or Legal Services
2. Offering Pro Bono Research Services and Legal Opinions
3. Financial Donation. We are a registered NPO
4. Being willing to make copies, deliver and serve documents
5. Writing Opinion Pieces on specific issues
6. Pro Bono Creative Services and Journalling
7. Helping us to fundraise and raise awareness
8. Being available for emergency relief in small ways or big ways
9. Any other ideas are welcome
Please get in touch via email using the relevant heading in your subject line
8. Refer a dispute to mediation or arbitration
We have trained mediators and arbitrators all over SA
Please email email@example.com
As always, Peace
“The boys throw stones at the frog in jest. The frog dies in earnest”
Joanna Russ, quoted often by Larissa Klazinga
I blog in peace. And I blog just having spent a wonderful six days in Sodwana with my husband Mike, and two kids, Che and Luc-Michael. All of them took to the ocean, even an open water snorkel two miles out to sea, and Mike and Che have decided they want to do open water one, so we can dive as a family. Although Luc-Michael will have to wait two years until when he turns 10. My passion for freediving remains and in doing a little scuba, I am not selling out to the greater cause, although some may feel I am:)
Anyway, I digress. I am still on a mission to answer violence with absolute non-violence and so have immersed myself in the study of accomplishments borne out of non-violent movements. And there have been some significant accomplishments. The abolition of slavery, for instance, was one such accomplishment.
But what I am engaged in right now is an attempt to help individuals transform violent thought processes and violent communication methods. It’s quite simple, if it violates, it is violent. And so demeaning language is a form of violence. And violence begets violence. So violence even in its most seemingly innocuous form, can, and often does, lead to other forms of violence. I spend much of my time helping individuals, especially Moms and kids, exit violent situations, so understand me when I say, I have a zero tolerance for violence. And I never expect the vulnerable simply to return violent words or violent deeds with rainbows and candy floss. If I come across a dangerous situation I will, within my means, do what I can to help the vulnerable get the freak out.
What I am really talking about hear is everyday communication amongst average well-adjusted, functional individuals. I observe a lot of communication in everyday life. I deal with many disputes and so am a party to much correspondence, to organizational communication and to relational interaction. A significant amount of our everyday language is peppered with violence: from sarcasm and gossip to name calling and the unjustifiable imputation of intention to others.
I take this stuff seriously as everywhere I go a see how violent thinking and violent speaking ends up in damage and detriment to ourselves and others. And so all I ask is that we pause….and reflect. I start with those we train in alternative dispute resolution and mediation. We start with self-reflection.
Unless we are able to transform our own violent thought processes and our own violent means of communication, we cannot help others. Most people don’t regard themselves as violent to which I say, we live in a violent world, which affects us all, and self-reflection in this regard may be the biggest gift we ever give others.
This stuff is key. And I am committed to this. I 100% believe that we can change lives and are changing lives. The good news is this is not rocket science. It is basic. It is radical. And by radical, I mean fundamental, how things should be. Back to our roots-who were are created to be. That is mirror images of the most high.
We have thus decided to incorporate non-violent communication formally into our main ADR Program. We also offer it as a short certificate program via distance learning or alternatively a one day workshop.
The quote I started with speaks of intention. As communicators, it is not enough to hold to our intention and to simply state “I meant no harm”. It is true, in the main, we do not intend to demean, harm or cause detriment to others in any way. But we must be responsible to be aware of how what we do, and what we say is received by others. Something said by you in jest may cause another to die a little inside. The root of the word sarcasm actually comes from the same root of a word that means to cut out flesh from someone. Let’s not do this stuff. Let’s apply love and grace at all times. Even when it seems undeserved. Or maybe especially when it seems undeserved.
As always, peace.
Ps. Next 5 day ADR Program takes place 4-9 August in Jozi. We have a number of subsidized spots left at 50% of the normal fee. Please get in touch. firstname.lastname@example.org