The client *H.A. had been co-habiting with a man from February 2007 – June 2013. Three weeks after the delivery of their child, the man chased her away, causing her to return to her parents’ home in Kongowea. When the child was two years of age, her ex-husband, came and forcefully took him away and took the minor to his new home, where he has married a second wife in Busia.
Subsequently, without reasonable cause, H.A was denied access to the child. Upon visiting the children’s department in Busia, HA did not receive the help she was in need of. In June 2018, she was referred to the FIDA-Kenya Mombasa office from the Chief’s Office, Kongowea. Here, she was given a mediation letter that she delivered to the father of her child. He responded to the letter in August 2018 agreeing to participate in the mediation sessions.
During the mediation, both parties arrived at amicable solutions through . The ex-husband agreed to give our client custody through a police station in Busia. He also agreed to provide for school fees and medical cover for the child as our client caters for the rest. Now she is happy after FIDA’s intervention. dispute resolution mechanisms and ADR. During these sessions, they were trained and directed on how to identify opportune moments to use their skills and expertise to resolve matters.
The opportunities include but are not limited to; using mediation to address boundary disputes, maintenance and custody of minors, widow and wife eviction. However, they also advised not to mediate in matters touching on capital offences. FIDA-Kenya held a total of seven (7) review meetings with seven (7) Councils of Elders.
During these meetings, it was revealed that most of the matters handled by the elders were family disputes on land (women’s land rights), wife and widow eviction, maintenance and custody of minors, FGM cases, child protection and sometimes rape and defilement would thereafter be referred to area chiefs and police.