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Tuesday 25 June 2019
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[UPDATED] Govt offers mediation via mobile units

A mediation mobile unit, launched this morning by the Community Mediation Services Division of the Ministry of the Community Development, Culture and the Arts. Photo by RogerJacob
A mediation mobile unit, launched this morning by the Community Mediation Services Division of the Ministry of the Community Development, Culture and the Arts. Photo by RogerJacob

PEOPLE can now access mediation services via mediation mobile units, so they can: “Talk it out…not fight it out.”

The Ministry of Community Development, Culture and Arts has bought two buses at a cost of $3 million to provide mediation services to people in rural areas who do not have the means to settle disputes in the courts.

Permanent Secretary in the ministry Angela Edwards said mediation is an informal process whereby people who have disputes are assisted by a neutral third party to resolve the issues amicably, where relationships can be retained, and Mediation on Wheels is to help do just that.
Addressing stakeholders on Wednesday at the launch of the units, at the National Academy for the Performing Arts (NAPA), Edwards said 13 years ago the Mediation Division opened its first centre, offering services such as mediation, social work and counselling.

However, Edwards said the services were only available at eight mediation centres across the country.

In 2016, she said, the director of the Community Mediation Services Division (CMSD), Beverly Harry-Emmanuel, came to the executive with a vision of taking the services offered by the CMSD to the people in a new and innovative way.

She said the idea spoke to the innovation and people-centred development thinking needed to move TT forward as a nation.

“’Mediation on Wheels.’ What if you lived in a far-flung area and did not have the financial means to travel to one of these centres?

“This was the problem we had to resolve. As the old saying goes, ‘If the mountain will not come to Mohammed, then Mohammed must go the mountain.’

“In human interaction, there is always conflict and not everyone has the means or wherewithal to settle these conflicts in the traditional method in the courts.”

Edwards said the main goal of the ministry is to create opportunities for communities to work together to accomplish common goals towards sustainable community development.

She said Mediation on Wheels hit the mark with a keen focus on addressing challenging social issues in communities.

“The mobile mediation service will complement all the other services of the division to better serve the needs of vulnerable groups, support strong families and safe, sustainable communities. In a nutshell, Mediation on Wheels puts people first.

“Mediation on Wheels will take the services of the CMSD offered to the north, south, east and west of Trinidad and eventually Tobago.
‘Thank you to the team, for their vision and persistence in making these mobile units a reality.”
Each mobile unit is wheelchair-accessible and has an intake area, a private, sound-proof counselling room for five people, a conference room for group sessions, and toilet facilities which are also wheelchair-accessible.

Each unit is intended to be a safe place where people can feel confident and comfortable to talk out their issues.

The artwork on the outside of the buses highlights different well-known buildings, including the Financial Complex, the Hyatt, Twin Towers and the Trinity Hills in blue, white, black and turquoise.

To get the bus moving anywhere in the country, citizens are asked to make a request by calling the Mediation Division at 626-768/2819.

To see the schedule of the mediation units, people can visit the ministry’s website at cdca.gov.tt or its Facebook and Instagram pages.

This story has been adjusted to include additional details. See original post below.


People can now access mediation services via mediation mobile units, so they can: “Talk it out…not fight it out.”

The Ministry of Community Development, Culture and Arts has bought two buses at a cost of $3 million to provide mediation services to people in rural areas who do not have the means to settle disputes in the courts.

Permanent Secretary in the ministry Angela Edwards said mediation is an informal process whereby people who have disputes are assisted by a neutral third party to resolve the issues amicably, where relationships can be retained, and Mediation on Wheels is to help do just that.

Addressing stakeholders yesterday at the launch of the units, at the National Academy for the Performing Arts (NAPA), Edwards said 13 years ago the Mediation Division opened its first centre, offering services such as mediation, social work and counselling.

However, Edwards said the services were only available at eight mediation centres across the country.

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