Duncum Center Solutions partnered with African Leadership and Reconciliation Ministries to provide mediation training to 35 Kenyan lawyers and helping professionals Aug. 15-19 in Machakos, Kenya. Joey Cope, executive director of DCS, and Lori Anne Shaw, director of training and development, led the five-day training.
Despite a constitutional provision making pre-trial mediation available since 2010, a lack of trained mediators has frustrated mediation as a litigation alternative in Kenya. ALARM leaders knew of this need in Kenya and worked with Cope, Shaw and Joyce Kabaki, director of the Kenya Christian Lawyers Fellowship, to make a cost-effective 40-hour mediation training available.
Leah Boyd Davis, ALARM’s director of justice initiatives, raised funds to subsidize the training expenses for the 35 participants. Davis then partnered with Cope and Shaw to provide the training.
“It was a pleasure to work with Joey and Lori Anne to provide this mediation training to the Kenyan professionals,” Davis said. “They embraced the rigorous training schedule and were so thankful for the opportunity to learn from two seasoned Texas mediators. I am excited to see how the participants start to mediate conflicts in their own communities and train others to do the same; this training will have an exponential impact on the community.”
Gifts from the Alternative Dispute Resolution Section of the State Bar of Texas and the Duncum Family Foundation allowed Cope and Shaw to cover their travel expenses and adapt the 40-Hour Basic Mediation Training materials for the Kenyan trainees.
“In Texas, we have been the recipients of a lot of wisdom, hard work, and persistence by our pioneers in mediation,” Cope said. “To have the opportunity to step into a nation that is just beginning to explore the possibilities was very exciting – and somewhat daunting. I believe that much of what develops in mediation in Kenya will come at the hands of those we had the opportunity to train.”
With many newly trained mediators in Kenya, Kabaki plans to open a mediation center in Nairobi. Other participants from the training are planning mediation training in Uganda, providing peer mediation training at schools, and working with Christian and Muslim faith communities.
“The participants were eager to jump into the training and work hard,” Shaw said. “Hearing their plans for using mediation not only in the courts, but also in the in the community really inspired me.”