As we review MBB’s extraordinary accomplishments in 2012, we are enormously grateful for the dedication and generosity of so many members and donors. We thank each and every one of you for your contributions of time, talent and treasure. Without you, none of what follows would have been possible!
The following lists the accomplishments of our eight MBB Projects in 2012.
Since 2009, MBB has been an Official Observer Organization for the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) talks and Conference of the Parties (COP). The project’s purpose is to advocate for the inclusion of mediation into legally binding instruments. In 2012, project team leader Gregg Walker was selected to serve on the steering committee of the Research and Independent Non-Government Organizations constituency, one of nine NGO constituencies recognized by the UNFCCC Secretariat. MBB’s Climate Change team also attended the UNFCCC talks in Bonn, Germany, and the 18th of the Conference of the Parties to the UNFCCC (COP18) in Doha, Qatar.
Since 2010, MBB has worked with the Asociacion Sembrando Semillas De Paz (Sembrandopaz) to build a culture of peace and promote reconciliation. The Colombia Project Team spent one week in the country in July, 2012, during which two important things were accomplished: the naming of a community leader to coordinate ongoing restorative circles and mediation work in the community of Caño Berruguita, Macayepo, and the delivery of 2-day workshop with the teachers at the local school to help children deal with the effects of trauma in their lives. The educational director from a neighboring town attended and expressed interest in using this curriculum in other schools.
In 2012, 300 lawyers, mediators and judges from Ecuador and the US attended three symposia organized by MBB and the JAMS Foundation and their local partners, including the Arbitration and Mediation Center of the Ecuadorian-American Chamber of Commerce in Quito (AMCHAM), San Francisco de Quito University, the Transition Council of the Judiciary, the Ecuadorian Institute of Arbitration, the Pichincha Bar Association, the Arbitration and Mediation Center of the Guayaquil Chamber of Commerce, the Arbitration and Mediation Center of the Production Chambers of Azuay, AMCHAM-Guayaquil and AMCHAM-Cuenca.
In 2012, the Israel project announced a new multi-tiered collaboration with academics, national-level community mediation leaders, such as Mosaica Conflict Resolution Center and Jerusalem Intercultural Center, and local community mediation centers in towns across Israel, to nurture and promote promising community building work done by community mediation centers in both Israel and the United States
MBB works with the Kenya Pastoralist Network Trust (KPN) to eradicate cattle rustling and inter-tribal conflict in all pastoralist communities of Kenya through a unique and effective “peace caravan” approach, which turns participants into voices for peace. The project goal is to provide civic educational opportunities that could contribute to shifting attitudes towards a commitment to peaceful elections in 5-6 key hotspots before the March 2013 national elections.
Since 2007, MBB has been volunteering in Liberia to support ex-combatants and war-affected women to come home to their communities. The project goals are to help victims and perpetrators deal with their trauma, rebuild trust and relationships between themselves and with their communities, and have the skills necessary to provide for their families. In 2012, the project agreed to partner with a Liberian women’s peacebuilding organization to work with communities on both sides of the Liberian/Cote d’Ivoire border.
The Nepal Project works with the Nepal Mediators’ Society (NEMS) and the Nepal Supreme Court to help increase the skills, success, and sensitivity of court-related mediators in Nepal. In 2012, MBB and NEMS jointly organized a 2-day advanced training for 37 mediators in Kathmandu, Nepal to explore new ideas and tools used by Nepalese and US mediators to improve the mediation process.
In 2012, MBB worked with local partners to build a national movement for unity and peace. It began in Freetown with university students concerned about violence over student elections. It then grew to a coalition of 40 grassroots organizations in 4 regions, which engaged 250 stakeholders in a dialogue about Sierra Leone’s future. Bringing together youth, women, media, military, police, religious, tribal and political leaders, the dialogues coupled with conflict transformation training empowered the diverse participants to promote peaceful national elections at a grassroots level.