Brazil: children, masters of their fate

by Terre des hommes | Terre des hommes (Tdh) - Switzerland
Tuesday, 8 April 2014 14:31 GMT

@Tdh/Odile Meylan

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Brazil: children, masters of their fate

In Brazil (, in the town of Fortaleza (State of Ceara), Terre des hommes (Tdh) trains adolescents to become mediators who are ready to solve conflicts among their peers. This project could be implemented in connection with a program for the prevention and resolution of violence.

“I started in the circle because I had a fight with another student. (…) When Tdh Brazil offered the mediation course, at first I thought it was a big joke, but then I took it seriously,” explains a student of the Torres de Melo School who has met mediators who solved issues of violence that he had been confronted with.

Solve the conflicts by means of mediation

Twelve schools with more than 10,000 students are participating in this project regarding mediation of conflicts. The delegation of Tdh Brazil that puts the children in the heart of the projects, has decided to encourage young people to become actors in the prevention of violence. In this connection, 16 adolescents have been trained in mediation. They have acquired the necessary skills to be able to advise their peers. With the help of their supervisors, they have become familiar with mediation techniques and have received practical advice to be able to settle situations of conflict.

“The mediator has to be willing to understand, to listen, and to hear both sides. The mediator has to know why the conflict has happened’’, explains the young beneficiary of the mediation course. A constructive dialog with the young people involved in situations of conflict is led before specific solutions are found.

“In my personal life, everything changed, I was very messy, now I don´t scream at home anymore with my mother, or she with me, now we sit and talk. Understanding that violence and fights don´t bring positive results is the greatest learning of conflict mediation’’ the young student has admitted.

Terre des hommes brings about positive change to the daily life of more than two million children and their families each year. Learn more about our many projects in Brazil (