Saturday, December 23, 2006

Mediation Without Borders

On this holiday season, my mind is drawn to just how lucky most people are in the Western world to be blessed with relative peace, prosperity and security - where we can tackle injustice in our everyday lives. This site is devoted to a preoccupation that is perhaps more relewant to a relatively self-actualized society: workplace fairness. But there are societies that are far less fortunate, riddled with strife, poverty, and uncertainty. It is to those parts of the world that my thoughts travel during this season.

My friend Vickie Pynchon suggested that I look into Mediation Without Borders as a socially progressive activity for mediators and other ADR practitioners. I had a look, and I am very impressed with this idea. This very worthy service is so needed in a world full of strife. A quote from Vickie's blog says it all:

MWOB is a non-profit provider of pro bono conflict resolution capacity building within post-conflict communities.

A key goal of MWOB is to develop indigenous skills for group facilitation, public dialogue, strategic planning, collaborative negotiation, and peer mediation.

The concept is for teams of volunteer mediators to conduct skill-building workshops consistent with the norms, values, and culture of the locale.

The Mission is to increase the capacity of hostile communities to prevent, resolve, and recover from violent conflict. An array of conflict alternatives can be explored by strategic integration into the political, economic, and social institutions. The same team would volunteer for between 1-3 weeks per year, over a number of years in the same country, to build sustainable initiatives and to develop local peacemakers and peacekeepers

I would encourage everyone to get involved. A small donation will help the organization get started. I believe they are only asking for $1 a day. I can't wait to make my donation to this very worthy cause.

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