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Project Concord — Victim Offender Mediation (VOM)
is a service which provides professional mediation service to young person, victim and parents or supporters who involved in a crime. It is organized by the Methodist Centre and supported by the Centre for Criminology, University of Hong Kong, Griffith University, and the Department of Communities, Queensland Government, Australia since 2007.
Origin of Project Concord – VOM
In 2007, Project Phoenix – Community Service Support Scheme’s 128 cautioning youngsters were asked to fill in a questionnaire about their willingness of involving in mediation service. The result showed that around 70% of the interviewees agreed to join VOM and hoped to apologize to the victim or make compensation. It was an opportunity for them to understand how the victim was affected by their offending behavior, in order to reduce the possibility of re-committing as well as to repair the harm and relationship between both parties.
The result from the above survey became a foundation for developing Project Concord in 2007, so that professional mediation and relating service can be offered to the young person, victim, and parents/ supporters of both parties. At the same time, we, as professional mediators, act as a bridge for both of the young person and the victim to alleviate the conflict in between.
Concord Festival was held every year since 2008. The festival included professional mediator certificate course, conferences, workshops, and Concord Day. We have trained more than 120 VOM mediators very the past few years. The professional mediator certificate course was the first collaboration course in Hong Kong with the Queensland Government, Australia. Restorative justice is used as a foundation for the professional victim-offender mediation certificate course and the outcome was remarkable.