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Community mediation in Nagybörzsöny with the sponsorship of the National Crime Prevention Board (2009)

2009. 05. 12.


Hungary is suffering of a large number of ethnic-based conflicts of which the majority involves Roma people. Recognising it as a serious problem, Foresee Research Group, together with its numerous consortium partners, ran an experimental project in 2009 funded by the Hungarian Crime Prevention Committee.

The project combined community building and different ADR (alternative dispute resolution) methods in a small rural Hungarian village. Throughout the project we provided training for the local people, including: ‘tolerance’, ‘mediation’ and a so-called ‘implementation training’, namely how to locally implement the learnt techniques and apply them in a sustainable way; organised group activities for children, young mothers and local volunteers and offered RJ services for handling ongoing conflicts in which the trained local people participated as co-mediators besides our team’s mediators.

During the project the following successful outcomes could be perceived: several successful mediations were conducted, the community cohesion has been significantly improved according to local people, and the newly trained locals has become committed and willing to give ongoing help as mediators and volunteers. Their work is largely supported with a community mediation protocol (handbook) that we have complied by the end of the project.

The program worked and carried out by the professionals of several different fields aimed to solve the serious problems of the town with alternative conflict resolution methods.

It was inevitable to involve local people in order to resolve the opposition between the devide groups; teachers, parents, workers of social and employment system, as well as e few members of the gipsy community showed interest in joining the small-scale group meetings, informal trainings, forums, lectures given by professionals and discussions of interest articulation.

Community programs consisted of organizing spare time activities, using community areas, facilitating communication and developing trust. The number and activity of participants grew from time to time and the achieved results were claimed to be excellent after the end of the project: thanks to community dialogue inhabitants became more positive about their future.

The program consisted of many elements (mapping demands, training, conflict resolution, mediation, dialogue, community building, assessment, dissemination) using different tools and methods. In the course of developing community and applying alternative conflict resolution the most burning questions of Nagybörzsöny began to be treated efficiently, and will be carried on independently thanks to the mediation training of active local residents organizations and the establishment of local conflict management.

Partner organizations:

• Börzsönyvidék Foundation
• Local Government of Nagybörzsöny Village
• Gipsy Minority Local Government of Nagybörzsöny
• German Gentilitial Minority Local Government of Nagybörzsöny
• Together for Nagybörzsöny Association (TENE)
• Nagybörzsöny Militiamen Association
• Börzsönyvidéki Bölcsőde, Óvoda, Általános Iskola, Alapfokú Művészetoktatási és Egységes Gyógypedagógiai és Módszertani Intézmény Nagybörzsönyi Oktatási Tagintézménye
• PrimRose Press, Adviser and Cultural Supplier Ltd.
Otherness Foundation
Community Development Association
• Partners Hungary Association

The program's sponsor was the National Crime Prevention Board.

For more information about Nagybörzsöny click here.

We have made a 15 minutes long film about the project, titled "WE also exist", directed by Eszter Hadú, that can be seen here with English subtitles.


To watch Márton Kállai photografer's pictures click here.

The project was referred to as "best practice" in the International Report 2010 of the International Centre for the Prevention of Crime. The report can be downloaded from here.

The overview of the project can be downloaded here.

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