The Vers le Pacifique program

Supported by the Foundation from 2003 to 2006

A child who grows up in a warm and positive environment will develop more fully and have a better chance of succeeding in school in a context that is free of violence. It is important to provide children with these opportunities by promoting non-violent behaviour.

That is exactly what Vers le Pacifique, a program for conflict resolution and peer mediation led by the Institut Pacifique, formerly known as the Centre International de résolution de conflits et de médiation (CIRCM), proposes to do. The Institut Pacifique is a non-profit community organization whose aim is to develop, implement and promote techniques for resolving conflict and preventing psychosocial problems.

After providing funding in 2003-2004 to adapt the Vers le Pacifique program for four-year-olds, the Foundation decided to renew its support for two more years. This time, the Institute's goal was to expand the program into other areas, including primary schools, in order to ensure its continued use in communities.

To achieve this goal and promote the widespread use of Vers le Pacifique, the Institute designed a training program for trainers from different school backgrounds in order to transmit the knowledge acquired so far.

The results:

  • Creation of a training guide for communities setting up the program
  • Development of trainers and consolidation of their independence, especially in remote regions
  • Easier access to a program that improves children's academic success and social adaptation.

Over the years, the knowledge gained by the Institut Pacifique in the area of conflict resolution has gone far beyond the Montreal region, expanding throughout all of Quebec, elsewhere in Canada and even to other countries.

Since 1994, Vers le Pacifique has been the subject of several evaluations. The main results have shown that, after extensive exposure to the program, primary students and preschoolers are able to:

  • Better manage their emotions in potentially conflictual situations
  • Identify the causes of the conflict
  • Propose solutions to resolve the conflict
  • Express their feelings
  • Demonstrate conflict resolution skills
  • Improve their self-control.

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Vers le Pacifique

A child at a CPE (childcare centre) in Montreal North with "Madame Pacifique"

Guide Vers le Pacifique

Cover of the educator's guide: Vers le pacifique : La résolution de conflits au préscolaire 4 ans


Comments from a Centre de la Petite Enfance (childcare centre) in Montreal North:

In a CPE in Montreal North, the Vers le pacifique program has been used in the daycare centre as well as by home childcare providers since 2005. The results of this intervention at an early age speak for themselves:

From parent:

"My child is a mediator at her school. She had already been exposed to the Vers le pacifique program in her daycare centre, which helped her to develop enough maturity to intervene with her peers."

From a home childcare provider:

"The children show a lot of interest in Madame Pacifique (a stuffed animal in the form of a dove) and the Madame Pacifique song. They integrate the concepts into their daily relationships, and promote positive behaviours themselves when they say things like, "Madame Pacifique says that we're supposed to share" or "Madame Pacifique says we should use our words."

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