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In the spring of 1998, the Coordinating Committee of the Friends Peace Teams Project discussed the situation among the many Quakers in the Great Lakes Region of Africa where conflict has been acute in the last thirty years. How were the Quakers surviving among these conflicts? Were they doing work in peacemaking and reconciliation? What kind of assistance would they need in their endeavors?

In January, 1999, the Friends Peace Teams Project's African Great Lakes Initiative (AGLI) sent an international, interreligious delegation of seven members to visit Quakers and others in Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda, and Burundi. The Delegation Report is a report on their trip to the Great Lakes Region. A shorter version, The Donor Report is an eight-page summary of the Delegation Report. While the delegation was there, they conducted numerous trauma healing, non-violence, Alternatives to Violence Project and other peacemaking workshops. The team found that Quakers and others in Burundi and Uganda were actively working on peacemaking projects, while people in Rwanda and Kenya had interests in these areas, but were not as of yet well organized in their endeavors.

AGLI then organized the Kamenge Reconciliation and Reconstruction Project for five weeks in the summer of 1999. A seven member international team with seven members of Burundi Yearly Meeting helped build a residence/guest house at the Kamenge Friends Church in Bujumbura which had been destroyed in the conflict in that country which began in 1993. The fourteen members of this team also went for a week to Kibimba, the site of the first Friends Church in Burundi, to help ready the Kibimba Secondary School to reopen after six years and with about 2,000 other Friends, participated in the re-dedication of Kamenge Friends Church. The group also conducted numerous non-violence trainings and trauma healing workshops. Members interviewed and videotaped the rebuilding, the Magarama II Peace Primary School, and individual testimonies of Burundians.

The The African Great Lakes Initiative and AVP-Uganda joined together for the Uganda Project  that took place from January 31 to February 28, 2000. The purpose of the Project was to facilitate eight Alternatives to Violence Project (AVP) workshops, to support the work and development of AVP-Uganda, and to share and learn between the Ugandan and international facilitators. Additionally three Rwandan Quakers came to participate in two of the workshops.

As a long-range project, AGLI is working with Burundi Yearly Meeting to set up a Trauma Healing and Reconciliation Center in Burundi. Details are being worked out. The plan is to have two Burundians and two international trainers work together over twenty-five months to set up this Center.

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