Friday, December 22, 2006

Mediation Without Borders

Here’s a splendid letter from Ken Cloke and Robert Creo to all Mediators!

“We are thrilled to announce the creation of Mediators Without Borders (MWOB). 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.

The current business model is to partner with existing NGO’s and ADR entities to provide experienced mediators as trainers and consultants to complement and expand the conflict resolution capacity of already funded peace projects.

Ken Cloke is the key founder and leader of Mediators Without Borders. He has assembled a dedicated team of mediators to implement this vision of MWOB.

The entity has been legally established and is being housed in Pittsburgh with office space and other support donated by Bob Creo, one of the incorporators of MWOB.

MWOB needs funds for staffing and administrative overhead to effectively implement the MWOB mission. There is an administrative plan to share the services of Ms. Anjali Soi, Executive Director of Mesites Foundation, also headquartered in Pittsburgh, with MWOB and hire a part-time administrative assistant.

The business plan provides for an annual administrative budget for cash flow purposes estimated at a modest $3,000 per month in the first year of operation. We expect to be filing for grants for the 2007 – 2008 grant cycle, but need to raise funds from the mediation community to implement an effective infrastructure. Ken and Bob, together with the Steering Committee of: Nan Walker Burnett, Lynn H. Cole, Sandi DiMola, Helen Dekovachich, Richard DeWitt, Erica Ariel Fox, Joan Goldsmith, C.J. Larkin, and Rachel Wohl, seek your participation as a Charter Mediator Member of MWOB.

This requires an annual dues commitment of at least $1 per day for an initial two year pledge period.

Only Member Mediators are permitted to volunteer to intervene abroad in specific projects. Over the next several months, we will be creating the web site, which will provide updated information as this project rapidly moves forward. We also seek networking assistance from the Mediator Members to identify potential partners, projects, and indigenous peacekeepers.

Please consider becoming a Mediator Member of a Supportor by completing the Dues Pledge Form on the web page link . . . and returning it with payment promptly.

Please feel free to contact any of the Steering Committee or Anjali Soi at or 412.441.1151 for additional information.

Please pass this letter and information onto any other interested mediators. I hope you can join us on this exciting and worthwhile endeavor.

Ken Cloke, and Bob Creo,

To email me, click Perry S. Itkin.