Rhea Mahanta

Name:  Rhea Mahanta

Status: WMO Mediator

Entry Date: 15/11/2018

City / Country: New York / USA

Expertise, organization and field of action: Rhea Mahanta is the Founder & President of The Peacebuilding Project. based in New York, she currently works at the United Nations Peacebuilding Support Office, Department of Political and Peacebuilding Affairs (DPPA).

Conflict Transformation, Peacebuilding & Humanitarian Action. The Peacebuilding Project is dedicated to educating and empowering communities on the topic of conflict resolution. Rhea has hosted training workshops and seminars on different facets of peacebuilding such as Interfaith Dialogue, Strategies of Negotiation and Mediation at The University of Chicago and with conflict-affected communities. The project has received international recognition from the Clinton Foundation’s Global Initiative University for it’s commitment to Peace and Human Rights and its idea to introduce Alternative Dispute Resolution and Cognitive Behavior Therapy in South Side Chicago Schools. An entirely volunteer-led initiative, The Peacebuilding Project in India supports the vulnerable Rohingya refugee population through its Rohingya Literacy Program, in partnership with the Rohingya Human Rights Initiative.”

Professional vision as WMO MEDIATOR: My vision as a mediator is to empower people to resolve conflicts peacefully amongst themselves. We have to recognize that conflict is an essential feature of human existence. We will more often than not, come into conflict with our peers, family members, supervisors or community members. The solution does not lie in eradicating conflict itself, because it is a phenomenon that has always and will always exist in society. The solution lies in training people to handle conflict constructively. We have to provide and educate people about the techniques they can use to respond to conflicting situations. People often resort to violence because they see no other option to bring about change. Our role as mediators is to, first of all, convey that we understand their needs, interests, and positions. Following that, we facilitate and encourage local communities to design their own solutions and hone their problem-solving skills. I envision building a bridge of mediators in different fields who are all pooling their efforts to launch a concerted movement for peace and non-violence.

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