We are pleased to announce that West Hawaii Mediation Center (WHMC) has received a Challenge Grant from the Omidyar ‘Ohana Fund of the Hawaii Community Foundation. The grant will be used to support mediation services and conflict resolution education for youth in West Hawaii. In order to receive this grant WHMC must secure matching funding by December 31, 2011.
“This is a huge honor for us,” said Janie Chandler-Edmondson J.D., Executive Director of WHMC. “This grant is an opportunity for us to increase our capacity. It has been a challenge to meet the increasing demand for services.
The Mission of WHMC
A low or no-cost provider of mediation services to individuals, small businesses and communities since 1988, WHMC has seen a marked increase in clientele over the last two years. “Especially in this economy, our client base has grown as the need has grown,” said Chandler-Edmondson. “There are more people who don’t have access to legal service, and may not be able to hire an attorney for divorces, custody issues, landlord-tenant disputes and similar issues.”
Serving between 700 and 800 clients per year, WHMC uses a sliding scale fee basis to provide service to clients at every income level. About 50% of clients make less than $25,000 per year.
Also as part of our mission, and in response to the growing instances of violence among youth, WHMC has designed and implemented a peer mediation program known as “Working It Out,” which is provided free of charge to West Hawaii schools. The program not only instructs students in mediation and conflict resolution skills but also addresses behaviors such as bullying, teasing, and violence. Research indicates school-wide programs can reduce bullying incidents by up to 50%.
The key to the success of school-based programs is early intervention and continuous support in order to offset powerful risk factors. At this time, the Center serves several schools in North and South Kohala. Although we have numerous requests for the program from other schools throughout West Hawaii, expansion is limited by funding support. We have no presence, for example, in some of the large school in our area, such as Konawaena and Kelalakehe.
Please Kokua — Your Donation Will Help Us Reach our Community
In order to receive the ‘Ohana Fund grant, WHMC must secure matching funding by December 31. The Center is enthusiastic about this opportunity and has dedicated fundraising efforts to meeting the challenge. Contributions will be used to support mediation and conflict resolution education services. Donations received on or before December 31 will be acknowledged as a matching donation to the Omidyar ‘Ohana Fund Challenge Grant.
To donate, please use the button at the bottom of this page, or contact us for more information. Mahalo for your support.