The Somali Family Care Network has assisted the SCCC to hold training seminars and create the STCRC Program. The GOAL of STCRC is to reduce the incidence of violence and crime for the Somali community of Colorado, promoting peace and harmony. This community is vulnerable due to cultural differences, shifting social norms, unfamiliarity with local and county laws and the stress and turmoil associated with immigration. STCRC implements proven techniques by integrating the traditional practice of Xeer(Hēēr) Somali with a strategy of collaboration with local law enforcement authorities.
The council is composed of an odd number of five elders, and will be expanded if necessary. Council members must be impartial community elders with knowledge of Somali culture, experience with conflict resolution and respect in the community. The elders mediate personal, family and civil disputes. For serious matters, they work with law enforcement agencies in the identification of crime victims and perpetrators. STCRC must be able to enforce mediation outcomes without violating any statue or law.
The impact on the well being of Colorado’ Somali population will be increased peace and kinship in the community through a decrease in violence and law violations. This will also strengthen STCRC ability to serve the community by building new relationships with law enforcement agencies in the Denver metropolitan area and will also increase SCCC’s over-all visibility, solidifying its role in the Somali community.
As a result of the conflict resolution committee set-up by the Somali
Community Center of Colorado, tangible results have been achieved and in particular (for example) two incidents are worth mentioning:
(I) Two Somali males exchanged strong words verbally which led to a fight and according to the law enforcement a weapon was involved and one of them sustained injury, followed by an arrest and un-bearable bond.
The Somali Community Center of Colorado was notified and immediately intervened. After a lengthy mediation and a negotiated settlement, both parties agreed to have the charges withdrawn, whereby the district court, then, acknowledged the role played by the Community Center in good faith and therefore, dismissed all the charges. The traditional conflict resolution elders did their best to compensate the party inflicted with the injury and a formal apology was given. A written agreement was accepted and both parties were satisfied.
(II) One of the Somali Community Center Officers (who is no longer with the center now) Somehow failed to return a community property when requested of him by the President. However, every imaginable courtesy were tried by the president to not sever the good working relationship they once had, but it seemed that all options were exhausted and therefore, the case went to the small claims court for possibly compensating the center for items taken by the former employee. The Somali Community council of elders initiated one last good-will attempt and they succeeded. The council of elders struck the only deal left, which was, to ask the defendant, if he had the items disputed in his property, if not, the only other option available, which would satisfy the opposing party, would be “to have him swear by the holy Qur’an” and that satisfied him (Community president) to drop the case. Nobody got charged, even though, neither the items were returned nor was the Somali Community Center ever compensated.The Presentation