A Hailsham-based service is celebrating the successful launch of a school mediation project in Uganda.
Last year Mediation Plus was approached by Geoff and Geraldine Booker, founders of the Quicken Trust - a Hailsham based educational charity which began its work on the Kabbudu Development Project in Uganda in 2000.
The project aims to help people living in poverty and provide education.
It secured funding from the ‘Commonwealth Professional Fellowship’ to support Enoch Kagoda, executive director of the project, to come to the UK and attend mediation training to be used in local school, Trust High School, and in his role in the project.
Geraldine said: “When we first visited, the villagers of Kabubbu had no clean water supply, no electricity and no access to education or health care.
“ They lived in poverty and destitution, surviving on subsistence farming and casual work breaking stones in a quarry. This job was done by women. They were paid £2.50 a week. Many children had been left orphaned by AIDS or malaria. The villagers saw themselves as ‘The Forgotten People’.”
Enoch was keen to learn about mediation as he could see the value of peer mediation groups within the school and also wanted to use the skills within his role as director of the project and his community.
After a week shadowing the Mediation Plus management team in Hailsham, where he was able to gain more knowledge on setting up mediation programmes, he completed their accredited mediation training where he was one of 12 participants from a wide variety of professional backgrounds.
Enoch said: “It was a privilege for me to be able to get that kind of training from the UK. The support and encouragement I received contributed greatly to me being able to complete the course.”
Since returning to Uganda in November, Enoch has started to implement his new skills and started the Trust High School Peer Mediation programme, as well as using the skills in his daily work for the project.
Following the launch, Mediation Plus will be welcoming school headmaster Ben to Hailsham in May to undertake their next mediation training course and advance the use of mediation in Kabubbu even further.
Mediation Plus training manager Joan Eades said: “We are delighted that we have been able to help develop and promote mediation in this exciting new way and that the skills we teach our volunteer mediators here are now being used to such good effect as far away as Uganda.”