The dialogic model of conflict prevention and resolution was piloted in the centre. The model was delivered in two separate apartments that together make up the centre for unaccompanied minors for a total of 12 minors. It was decided to use horticultural therapy as a tool to initiate dialogue. Typically, botanical concepts were used for the purpose of the dialogic model: roots, transplanting, welcoming into new soil, caring. In addition, with the support of aromatic plants, smells were used to convey memories and talk about ourselves. At the halfway point, the boys from both houses decided to continue the course jointly. Rules were drawn up then validated by both the residents and educators of the two apartments.

Impact and successes

– A conflictual situation was solved by having developed a rule about everyone’s privacy and respect for the private sphere.

– Greater solidarity among minors for a more optimistic view of the future (for example, to get to the second apartment of the centre you have to take public transportation and they always helped each other to reach the destination together, taking care of the last minor arriving by explaining the route).

–  Sharing of new and old experiences: one of the newly established rules and should improve the supportive approach among them.

– Inhabitants of the two apartments of the centre now meet each other. 

– Communication between minors and staff markedly improved.

Lessons, learning and recommendations

Long bureaucratic waits make everyday life tiring for the unaccompanied minors and days can be very similar when waiting for something that sometimes is not fully understood; apathy is a state that affects many. Any proposed activity must take this into account.

​​The participation of some minors wasn’t constant and each meeting was attended by different caregivers who did not always understand the practices implemented; centres have a high turn-over and this needs to be kept in mind.