Ayo Ayoola-Amale is a member of the three-person MBBI Ombuds Team. Ayo works as a Conflict Resolution Professional, Lawyer, Certified Educator, and Peace Advocate. She has advanced training and certification in Law, Conflict Resolution, Facilitation, and Peacebuilding fields. She spends her time advocating as a peacebuilder between her home community of Lagos, Nigeria, and her current community in Accra, Ghana. A committed peace advocate Ayo’s mission is to “build local peace and advocate for peace in a volatile world.”  She was the Honourable Global Mediator (2014) and West African regional representative to the World Mediation Organization (WMO). Ayo is the International Association of Educators for World Peace (IAEWP) Senior Vice-President for Africa. She is currently the President of Women International League for Peace and Freedom (WILPF) in Ghana. She and Yolanda Collins (a second member of the Ombuds team) will also be at the IOA 2020 Conference in Portland, Oregon.

The Work of an Ombuds

An Ombudsman, Ombudsperson, or the gender-neutral Ombuds is an official charged with representing the interests of a group by investigating and addressing complaints reported by members. Ombuds are independent, impartial, and neutral in their review of facts and complaint investigation, but most importantly, they are Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) practitioners.

The MBBI Ombuds Team has jurisdiction over issues regarding:

  • Actions carried (or the absence of) by MBBI, including the Board of Directors and management
  • Activities or behaviors you believe are unfair
  • Discrimination, particularly on the basis of race, gender, or disability
  • Bullying by someone in your team or your team leader

Please contact the Ombuds lead at ombuds@mediatorsbeyondborders.org, or if you prefer that the Ombuds lead to contacts you by phone, please send an email providing a number, date, and time where you may be reached.

Ayo has been a part of the MBBI Ombuds Team since its inception in 2016 but has been working to the specifics of the law, mediation and conflict resolution and facilitation for the past 25 years. Through her career as Lead, First Conflict Resolution Services, she became aware of the fortitude of mediation as a more effective method of problem-solving than traditional law settlements. As a workplace mediator, she realized that resolving conflict within the boundaries of office politics in a competitive and often stress-filled environment was vital to success through creative solutions to common conflicts. Using problem solving and communication skills, negotiation and mediation she successfully worked with others to bring various entities together for a productive working environment.

WILPF, CSW, IOA

Of the multitudes of global board, activities, and peace initiatives that Ayo is a part of, her strongest connection to global peace is through the Women International League for Peace and Freedom (WILPF). She is the founder of WILPF – Ghana Section, she describes WILPF Ghana foremost as a women’s rights and peace organization that symbolize agents of change that can challenge the power relations underpinning gender inequalities. Gender norms are often shaped and reshaped at the local level and can be influenced by local, national, and international actors. Therefore, connections with grassroots initiatives for social change and gender equality are a strategic prerequisite to promoting gender equality.

Ayo will be traveling to New York in early March to present at the Commission on the Status of Women (CSW). She will be on the sisters, seeds and soil panel advocating for gender equality and peace. The letter from WILPF to the CSW about this panel can be read in more detail here. This year is the 25th anniversary of the Beijing Platform for Action, and sessions will focus on progress (and lack thereof) on platform provisions, on the Sustainable Development Goals for 2030, and on related UN resolutions, such as UNSC Resolution 1325. Furthermore, MBBI will be attending the CSW as well and will be hosting several side events throughout the event allowing Ayo to combine her two international peace organizations at the same international UN summit!

Poet, Artist, and Author

In 2010, Ayo, founded Splendors of Dawn Poetry Foundation and along with Nigerian Poet and Author, Diego Odoh Okenyodo Co-founded the West Africa Poetry Prize (WAPP) in 2013, of which she is a Director. “Poetry is a huge portion of my life and I have been able to link my peacebuilding background into writing and publishing global works of literary art. I believe that arts-informed initiatives can support communities to identify sources of resilience and craft imaginative solutions to seemingly insurmountable threats.” Ayo is the author of six volumes of poems and a play and has performed her poetry at national and international events. Some of her literary works include Broken Dreams (2011), a play, Life Script, a collection of poems with some published online.

She is a member of the International Coordinating Committee of the World Poetry Movement and a former Vice- President, Africa of the Movimiento Poetas del Mundo (Poets of the World). Ayo was the organizer of “100 thousand poets for change” Accra (2013). Her poems have appeared in national and international anthologies, journals, and magazines and have been translated into several international languages. She has performed, recited her poems at local, national, and international platforms, events/functions, and festivals.

Article by Benjamin Lutz, MBBI Communications and Operations Manager