• Will deal with family disputes, child custody and maintenance, environmental, land and inheritance disputes
• Nairobi Woman Rep Passaris said mediation is the better route to solve conflicts
A meditation centre has been opened in Nairobi to help resolve conflicts especially domestic violence.
The centre was opened on Monday by Nairobi Woman Representative Esther Passaris at Fida offices in Lavington. It will deal with family disputes, child custody and maintenance, environmental, land and inheritance disputes.
Mediation is an informal process in which a mediator assists parties to reach an agreement in all types of disputes that are not criminal in nature.
Fida chairperson Josephine Mong'are said mediation is one of the most successful ways of resolving disputes.
Since January, Fida which holds mediation sessions on Thursdays has dealt with 700 cases.
"We have had a success rate of 70 per cent and those cases we are unable to resolve through mediation, we go through the court process," she said.
Passaris speaking during the opening of the centre said going to court is not the best solution.
"Mediation happens every day... We need to promote mediation as a means of conflict resolution," she said.
The woman rep added she would ensure chiefs around Nairobi are trained on mediation since they deal with a lot of family disputes.
Fida- Kenya founder Lilian Mwaura advocated for peer mediation, stating the children in school also needed training.
"Mediation, as a process of conflict resolution, is not widely known and we need to also raise awareness so that more people use it," she said.
Salim Fazak, a trained mediator speaking to the Star, said mediation is the best process to resolve conflict because the parties are able to come up with their own solutions.
"These are tailor-made by the parties and the solutions are for the parties by the parties," he said.
Another mediator Tom Modi, however, said mediation can be made difficult if the parties are influenced by third parties.
"Sometimes people will come with a preset mind and it makes the process of mediation hard," he said.
The process begins with breaking the ice between parties, the parties venting out their issues and determining their interests.
"The mediator will then assist the parties to develop a list of key issues, then encourage them to give solutions and help them pick the most realistic ones before settling the matter with an agreement," Modi said.