The African Great Lakes Initiative (AGLI) of the Friends Peace Teams has been around for quite a while and done a lot of good. But for all their work and for all the good that they have done, they are still unknown to many people; even people who stay abreast of development work in Africa.
[The information below has been taken directly from the AGLI website:
Mission of the African Great Lakes Initiative
The African Great Lakes Initiative (AGLI) of the Friends Peace Teams strengthens, supports, and promotes peace activities at the grassroots level in the Great Lakes region of Africa (Burundi, Congo, Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania, and Uganda). To this end, AGLI responds to requests from local religious and non-governmental organizations that focus on conflict management, peace building, trauma healing, and reconciliation. AGLI sponsors Peace Teams composed of members from local partners and the international community. We are a 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization.
History of the African Great Lakes Initiative
The African Great Lakes Initiative (AGLI) is a program created by the Friends Peace Teams, an organization consisting of sixteen Quaker Yearly Meetings in the United States who have united to support the traditional emphasis of Quakers in promoting a more peaceful world. In April, 1998, the Friends Peace Teams realized that Quakers in the Great Lakes region of Africa, numbering almost half of the Quakers in the world, were in countries with a great deal of violence, social unrest, genocide, and civil war. Consequently in January 1999, an international delegation of seven team members visited Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda, and Burundi. From this visit and subsequent discussions, the Friends Peace Teams decided to create the African Great Lakes Initiative to support peacemaking activities at the grassroots level. We are a 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization.
In Rwanda, AVP is conducting six workshops in six resettlement communities for Hutu and Tutsi Rwandans who were recently expelled from Tanzania. They are also doing a series of workshops in remote villages of Eastern Province where the wounds from the genocide are still festering. In Kenya, due to the violence after the December 27, 2007 elections, AVP in western Kenya plans are to conduct 200 basic, advanced, and training for facilitator workshops in various communities. Many of these workshops will involve the young people who were involved in much of the local violence after the election. Sites may include Kisii, Kisumu, and Bondo in Nyanza Province; Shinyalu, Kakamega, the Mt Elgon area, Lugari District, Malava District and Vihiga District in Western Province; and Turbo, Eldoret and Kitale in Rift Valley Province. Each site will have ten or more workshops so that each area can be adequately impacted.
In Burundi, HROC is concentrating its work in three up-country sites. They are also developing a special workshop for HIV+ women and a second level, Healing of Memories, workshop.In Rwanda, HROC plans on developing a workshop geared for teenagers and a second for youth in their twenties. These will be done with the children of the Women in Dialogue program of the Friends Peace House. They are also beginning workshops with the Batwa, the third, minority ethnic group in Rwanda. After AGLI began the HROC program in North Kivu of the Democratic Republic of the Congo last year, HROC-North Kivu will use its trained Healing Companions to do basic HROC workshops in internally displaced camps.
AGLI is planning five workcamps for summer 2009 - FWA clinic in Kamenge, Burundi; Friends Peace Centre in Lubao, Kenya; building homes in Lugari District, Kenya; Gisenyi Peace Center in Gisenyi, Rwanda on the border with Congo; and, the Bududa Vocational Institute and Children of Hope orphanage in Bududa, Uganda.
Friends Women’s Association:
One of the AGLI workcamps will complete the last three rooms needed for the clinic to be recognized by the Government as an approved full clinic. FWA is working with HROC to develop the HIV+ workshop. They continue to work with local HIV+ women (and some men) and do regular medical work for the surrounding population.
If you get the chance, drop by their web site and take a look at the many exciting things that they are doing in the Great Lakes Region.
THE AFRICAN GREAT LAKES INITIATIVE