Peace Teams News, PO Box 10372, San Antonio TX 78210-0372, Tel: 877 814 6972







FALL, 2001: Volume 6, Issue 3

Update On The African Great Lakes Initiative by David Zarembka


After Rwanda Yearly Meeting organized twelve AVP workshops in March as part of Phase I of AVP-Rwanda, they took a rest. It wasnít until June that they got together again and decided to start an official AVP organization with officers and a bank account. They have appointed a committee of eight from all parts of the country to be on the committee with David Bucura, General Secretary of Rwanda Yearly Meeting and the flawless organizer of Phase I, as their AVP coordinator for Phase II of the AVP-Rwanda program. During Phase II, those Rwandans trained in Phase I will have their first experiences facilitating AVP basic workshops.

For the first eight workshops they will have the assistance of two Ugandan facilitators: George Walumoli who was part of Phase I and was recently facilitating AVP in Ghana with Rachel Harrison (a member of the Friends Peace Teamsí Coordinating Committee) and Nakuti Victo, a female Quaker facilitator from Mbale, Uganda. These eight workshops have already been funded and the AVP-Rwanda Committee is hard at work organizing these workshops for the month of September. AVP-Rwanda also plans eight additional basic workshops as part of Phase II, but awaits funding of an additional $9000 for these workshops.


AGLI has also approved the Burundi Trauma Healing and Reconciliation Centerís proposal to introduce AVP to Burundi. If the funding of $11,750 can be obtained, this is scheduled for October. There will be two basic workshops, one advanced, and one training for facilitators, and then three more basic workshops were the new trainees can apprentice. One Uganda facilitator and one international facilitator will be recruited for this five week series of workshops.

Burundi Trauma Healing and Reconciliation Center

During July, the Burundi Team had a series of Trauma Workshops scheduled for the up-country Quakers which had to be canceled because of violence in the area of the workshops. This kind of cancellation should be expected at times in a country still with a low-level civil war. In early August, the Team facilitated three of the workshops that were missed in July. A report on the Kwisumo Workshop is included in this issue of PTN.

An interesting development is that the Team is organizing a one-day meeting where Quakers and others who know Kirundi, French and English will meet to determine the best translation into Kirundi for many of the words and concepts used in trauma healing work.

Women’s conference in Kuibuka where Carolyn Keys presented a trauma healing workshop.

At the end of June, Brad Allen from the Burundi Team came back to the United States for a leave of absence. After Bradís return, he and AGLI agreed that he would not return to Burundi. He is now working with Sudanese refugees for Lutheran Social Services in Grand Rapids. We wish him well in his new endeavors. The Team in Burundi and the AGLI Working Group are discussing what to do about replacing him, but have not reached a decision at this time.

Rachel Fretz Sojourns in Burundi

Rachel Fretz, clerk of the AGLI Working Group and a member of Santa Monica Monthly Meeting, received funds from her Meeting to visit Burundi for three weeks beginning on August 27. In addition to meeting with the Burundi Team and members of Burundi Yearly Meeting, Rachel hopes to conduct storytelling/healing workshops with women in Bujumbura, at upcountry Quaker schools, and a seminar at the Great Lakes School of Theology. With AGLIís support, Rachel asked Santa Monica Meeting to host a Burundian who will sojourn for approximately a month at Santa Monica Meeting with the opportunity to acquaint Quakers and others from the area about Burundi and the programs of Burundi Yearly Meeting and also to participate in Quaker and educational gatherings of interest. Rachel will explore this exchange with Burundi Yearly Meeting. As way opens with Santa Monica MM and Burundi YM, this experience may became the model for future exchanges.

See earlier issues of PTN for more on the African Great Lakes Initiative.

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