President Eliza, Advisor of the Hong Kong Peer Mediation Competition, attended the Heats at the City University of Hong Kong. Past President WT also dropped by to give the judges a briefing as most of them were new to this competition. Rotarian Nana Lui of Rotary Club of Central Harbourfront, who visited our Club meeting last week, was one of the judges too.
Past President WT (as coach), President Eliza (as Advisor) and President Elect Jason (as Observer/Helper) attended the first online workshop of the 6th HK Secondary School Peer Mediation Competition which was jointly organized by Rotary International District 3450 and Joint Mediation Helpline Office (JMHO). This year, there were 16 schools joining for the workshop and competition and 6 schools joining the workshop only. Our Club was one of the sponsors on this meaningful event to promote peace through mediation. Topics including what is peer mediation, opening statement, the 5 step procedures (調解五部曲) in running a mediation, listening and reframing skills, non-verbal communication skills such as “SOLER” etc. The heats will be held in City University on 4 March and the semi final and final will be held in the Function Hall of Department of Justice on 25 March 2023. After a 1.5 hours presentation by the key trainer, the students performed two role plays where they were assessed by the very experience coaches. A two-hour in-school training by another coach will be given to the students before preparing for the Heats.
On May 2, Peer Mediation Competition (final) was held. Our President Elect Eliza chaired the competition, while Past President WT acted as advisor and competition judge and President Sam acted as steering committee member.
What is mediation? In the second Club meeting of the year, we learned all about this emerging form of disputes resolution from our speaker, Mr TK Iu, a Solicitor and Accredited Mediator (General & Family). Mediators are trained to be impartial and help parties reach an amicable settlement. The mediator does not impose a decision on the parties. The mediator is neither judge nor arbitrator. Rather, each party are brought face-to-face in a private and confidential setting and has the opportunity to forward his/her point of view. The key drivers of mediation is, 人事分離, or, be hard on the problems and be soft on the people. While litigation and arbitration can be backward looking at facts and events that transpired, mediation builds on the factual foundation of the case and seeks solutions that help all parties meet their goals and objectives. The time and cost savings of mediation will become more evident as mediation gets adopted into mainstream disputes resolution. It is certainly an emerging field as Hong Kong positions itself as a mediation center.
Rotarian Eliza Ning of Rotary Satellite Club of Tolo Harbour Happy Health came to our Club to give a talk on “Peer Mediation”. A career banker, Eliza upon retirement has a new-found interest in mediation, particularly amongst our youth. She shared her experience taking classes on mediation, attending peer mediation competitions among secondary schools, and teaching mediation techniques to secondary schoolers. She is hopeful that conflicts, especially among our youth, can be resolved through peer mediation techniques, including active listening, reframing, uncovering underlying interests, doubt creation to firm beliefs etc. These techniques, when properly executed, help to promote an environment whereby others resolve conflict through mutual understanding.