Saturday, December 20, 2014

Chan Service: Training Community Mediators in Central Africa


                                Training Community Mediators in Central Africa

George Brose and Adrian Symonds are seeking your financial support for this project. You will receive a Canadian Charitable Receipt for your taxation year. Make your cheque payable to Comox Valley Community Justice…Attention Rwanda Mediation Project, Suite E-450 Eighth St., Courtenay, B.C. V9N 1N5. Please ensure you clearly write your name and address so a taxation receipt may be issued to you.*

Project Goal: To support the ongoing process of training community mediators in Rwanda, Burundi, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, and Tanzania

Participants:   Mediators Adrian Symonds and George Brose from Courtenay, BC

Cooperating Agency in Africa: African Great Lakes Initiative (AGLI), a Quaker initiative based in East Africa, AGLI <> was founded shortly after the 1994 genocide in Rwanda to provide conflict resolution and reconciliation between people from both sides of that genocide and in neighboring countries. AGLI provides three principal programs of conflict resolution: Healing and Rebuilding our Communities (HROC), Alternatives to Violence Project (AVP) and Mediation.

Training aspect: A training session will include approximately 20-25 trainees who will return to their respective communities to provide mediation service in their villages and urban neighborhoods.  In most of these communities the residents have little or no access to the courts to resolve conflict which without resolution often results in escalated violence between the disputing parties. It is proposed that the two mediators Brose and  Symonds will conduct at least 4 trainings in the time they will be in country: one hundred new mediators! 

Previous Efforts: The first mediation training began with AGLI in 2007. Five North American mediators have directly trained over 300 mediators who have in turn trained another 2000 mediators. The 2014 training project will be Brose's fifth time participating on the mediation project.  This will be Symonds’ first time.  As well as Rwanda, the two will return to Pemba Island, Tanzania to reinforce the training that George did there three years ago with Sharia judges, Imams, Social Workers, and Teachers. 

Why are More Mediators Needed?
The continuous conflict and war going on in the Eastern Congo and occasionally still in Burundi has cost the lives of over 6 million people. As well, the refugee camps are a seething mass of human conflict.  With no police protection to speak of, crimes such as   homicides, rape, burglary, and domestic violence have no resolution. In the absence of a well functioning court system, these countries have a pressing need for more trained mediators.

1. MAIN WEBSITE: Cosmos Chan Zen Community at
2. Master Cheng Yen in Facebook;
3. Listen to dharma talks with Gilbert Gutierrez
4. Listen/download audio talks from the Tallahassee   Chan group at
5. the Western Chan Fellowship at
6. Questions?  Adrian at 250 650 9055; and this blog

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