ABIC launches women’s mobile mediation clinic
By Lincoln G. Peters
The Angie Brooks International Center (ABIC) has launched an innovative Women’s Situation Room (WSR) Mobile Mediation Clinic for 100 women leaders and 100 chiefs in 20 project communities here.
Ten of the project communities are in Montserrado County and another 10 in Bong County. The project is intended to boost local peacebuilding efforts and will run for a period of three months, starting from May to July 2022.
The project is titled Sustainable and Inclusive Peace in Liberia through Promoting Women Leadership and Participation in Civic and Political Life and their Strengthened Role in Conflict Resolution.
It is being run under the flagship program of the “Women Situation Room (WSR) initiated by the Angie Brooks International Center for Women’s Empowerment, Leadership Development, International Peace and Security in partnership with ZOA-Liberia with support from the United Nations Peacebuilding Fund.
Making an official statement at the launch of the WSR Mediation Mobile Clinic at a local hotel on Friday, 27 May 2022, Cllr. Yvette Chesson-Wureh, Establishment Coordinator of ABIC, said working in 20 communities under the project, they have observed with concern the display of political, social and domestic intolerance from the family level.
She said domestic intolerance is displayed through various groups, up to the political level, and they are sometimes marred by incidents of violence.
“This wave of pockets of violence within these smaller units, if left unattended to, will nurture a fertile ground that will promote their escalation into full-blown violence,” Cllr. Chesson – Wureh warned.
“The WSR mechanism under the Angie Brooks International Center deems these developments as very unfortunate and believes there is the need to scale up intervention mechanisms,” she added.
Against this backdrop, Cllr. Chesson- Wureh noted that the WSR Mediation Mobile Clinic has been introduced as the newest tool of the WSR.
To deconstruct the meaning of this new tool, she said the adoption of the word ‘clinic’ is devoid of all medical connotations, but rather, it has been used idiomatically to symbolize the ability to provide solutions to issues confronting residents in the communities.
The objective of the WSR Mediation Mobile Clinic is to support gender-responsive mediation at the community level; to provide the opportunity for women leaders and chiefs to learn new skills through mediation practice.
The objective also includes building an ecosystem of women leaders and chiefs across Liberia and enabling contact tracing of the local peacebuilding work of women mediators and chiefs in communities in Liberia.
It includes developing a database of WSR – trained women leaders and chiefs in mediation; and providing the platform for women leaders and chiefs to support one another.
“In this regard, being convinced of the differential impact of violence on men, youth, women, girls and children, the WSR mechanism maintains its commitment to peace and security on the anchor of the preventive rather than the curative,” she continued.
She noted that these funds have come at an opportune time, as across every nook and cranny of the country, political tensions seem to be rising as Liberians prepare for the 2023 presidential and legislative elections.
She said the 20 project communities are not excluded from these rising tensions.
Ahead of the 2023 elections, she said Liberians must not make a mistake about the kind of stability they need in the preparatory period because the character of the peace and stability to which the country is currently accustomed can be inferred as synonymous to the unstable flow of sea waves.
Madam Chesson-Wureh added, “Our ability as a country to successfully overcome or painfully succumb to the pressures before, during and after the presidential and legislative elections is determined by our preparedness now and the valuable work we continue to do today in order to sustain the gains made so far in the reconstruction efforts of our beloved Mama Liberia.”
For the last 15 months, various activities under the project have been rolled out in 10 communities in Montserrado County and another 10 communities in Bong County simultaneously, she added.
According to her, the concept of the WSR Mediation Mobile Clinic is a catalytic rapid-response tool which is providing financing for women leaders and chiefs to enable them to thoroughly and speedily investigate issues of violence in the various villages and towns.
Since its creation, the WSR has played a pivotal role in brokering and maintaining peace in Liberia and other six African countries namely Sierra Leone, Senegal, Nigeria, Kenya, Uganda and Ghana. In some of these countries, the WSR mechanism has been implemented more than once.