Professionalisation and expansion of family mediation offers

Project title: Family mediation as a contribution to a protective environment for children in the departments of Ouémé, Plateau and Mono in Benin


Duration: October 2023 to September 2026


Local project partner: Espace Solidarité Globale Bénin (ESGB)


This project builds on two previous phases in which the family mediation approach was introduced, tested and integrated at community level in Benin.

History and context of the project

In their work with children living on the streets or in exploitative working conditions, our partner ESGB found that broken family relationships were often responsible for the children's plight. It was at this point that ESGB first set up 5 specific mediation centres in Ouémé in 2017. These centres supported couples in conflict so that the well-being and rights of the children were taken into account, particularly in the event of separation. After initial scepticism, the offer of family mediation was increasingly accepted by the population until it finally met with very high demand. In a second phase, from 2020, the service was then expanded via local mediators based in 56 municipalities in the departments of Ouémé and Plateau and introduced as a permanent service. The accompanying awareness-raising work also served to prevent child rights violations and neglect in these communities.


The great demand for family mediation continues to this day. In a third phase, the approach is now to be extended to Mono, further anchored in all three departments (Ouémé, Plateau, Mono) and professionalised through group supervision. Representatives of the religious communities and local civil society organisations are being trained as mediators and supervisors by experienced psychologists. In addition, a platform for professional exchange and further training fosters the professionalisation of the mediation work, which is now carried out exclusively on a voluntary basis.

Project goals

Overall objective: To improve a protective environment for children in the departments of Ouémé, Plateau and Mono


Project objective: The implementation of family mediation in cooperation with various child protection agents, the dissemination of legal provisions on parental responsibility and a culturally adapted child rights approach strengthen the protection of around 10,000 children in the departments of Ouémé, Plateau and Mono.



  1. 24 religious leaders and representatives of child protection organisations in the 20 project communities have the necessary knowledge and expertise to provide professional support to the mediators.
  2. There are competent and networked mediation centres for parents in conflict or children in distress in the 20 project municipalities.
  3. The mediation centres, legal obligations of responsible parenthood and children's rights are known in all 20 project municipalities.

Target groups

  • 18 members of the social services of the faith communities and 6 local civil society organisations working in the field of child and family protection
  • 26 social workers responsible for gender-based violence in social welfare offices, courts and police social services
  • 2,800 children who have lost contact with one or both parents
  • 10,000 children of couples in conflict situations
  • 3,000 couples in conflict situations
  • 80 local mediators
  • 86 representatives of decentralised state services
  • 348 members of child protection committees
  • 400 multipliers from the community
  • 20 local artisan collectives
  • 40 local civil society groups
  • 40,000 residents who have little knowledge of parental responsibilities and children's rights
  • 8 presenters from 4 radio stations

Main project activities

  • Expansion of the mediation programme to another department (Mono)
  • Partnership agreements with local social services and mediation centers
  • Training of supervisors to accompany the mediators in their work
  • Building a platform for the exchange of experience, capacity building and greater recognition for local mediators
  • New edition and translation of various manuals (on family protection, children's rights) into local languages for wider dissemination
  • Establishment, activation and training of local child protection committees in the Mono department
  • Awaremess-raising campaigns
  • Radio programmes on children's rights


Project costs: 704,000 euros


Financial partner:

  • Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ)
  • ESGB and Kinderrechte Afrika e. V. (donations)
  • What about you? Support this important project with a donation or sponsorship!


Sparkasse Offenburg/Ortenau

Kinderrechte Afrika e. V.



DE69 6645 0050 0076 0040 44

Kinderrechte Afrika e. V.

Schillerstraße 16

D-77933 Lahr


Tel.: 07821/38855

Fax: 07821/985755


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