African Rotary Community Mediation (ARCoM) project has partnered with MBBI and Academics to provide a platform to establish a conflict prevention community mediation initiative that involves Rotarians and Non-Rotarians to deepen Rotary’s peacebuilding work within and between communities.
In 2020, a group of Rotarians from District 9350, District 9370, and District 9400 took the initiative to establish the African Rotary Community Mediation (ARCoM) Vocational Training Team (VTT) Global Grant with the aim of training 100 community mediators to work in communities in the three districts. From January 2021, a multi-disciplinary Vocational Training Team (VTT) will complement the skills training to lay the theoretical and philosophical foundation for the cohort of Rotary mediators consisting of 30 Rotarians and 70 non-Rotarians. Applications will remain open until the end of December 2020. The training will take place in collaboration with Mediation Beyond Borders International (MBBI) a standing partner of Rotary International, who will not only provide the skills training but also provide international accreditation to all successful candidates.
On completion of the training, the “ARCoM Mediators” will make themselves available to communities to do pro-bono mediation in a wide range of social issues, in collaboration with communities. Most of the training will be online, but prospective mediators will do practical hours in communities of their choice to be accredited. It is foreseen that the first phase of the program will be completed by end of April 2021, ready for introduction during the Rotary in Africa Centennial Celebration in Johannesburg on 25 April 2021. Currently, the Steering Committee of ARCoM is in discussion with the new Rotary Peace Center at Makerere University in Uganda on expanding ARCoM to communities in Zone 22 (East Africa). The Peace Center already nominated five candidates to participate in the first phase of ARCoM so that they can serve as VTT members during phase 2. A multi-district project with the scope of ARCoM has the potential to create peace in our communities and subsequent tangible impact on the well-being of people who suffered and are still suffering from conflicts that tend to become violent.