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SUMMER, 2001: Volume 6, Issue 2

Update on FPT's African Great Lakes Initiative
by David Zarembka

AGLI assists the formation of AVP-Rwanda

In partnership with Rwanda Yearly Meeting of Friends, Friends Peace Teams’ African Great Lakes Initiative (AGLI) has just concluded a five-week introduction of Alternatives to Violence Program (AVP) to Rwanda. This first phase of the AVP Rwanda project will be followed by two other phases.

Four American and three Ugandan AVP facilitators conducted four Basic workshops, two Advanced workshops, three Training for Facilitators, and then three additional Basic workshops where twelve of the new Rwandan facilitators apprenticed their first Basic workshop with the AGLI Team Members. This included 135 participants for the Basic workshops, 40 for the Advanced, and 27 for the Training for Facilitators. Participants were from various religious backgrounds, predominately male but with some women, and included both Hutu and Tutsi. Two Burundians and one Congolese also completed the three levels and are anxious to introduce AVP to their respective countries. Furthermore the Rwandans have named eight of the new facilitators from all parts of the country to form a group to decide upon an organizational structure for an AVP-Rwanda Organization. This group will decide on Phase II of the AVP-Rwanda Program, which, with the initial help of Ugandan facilitators, will conduct their first workshops on their own. They will attempt to gain entry for AVP in the Rwandan prisons holding 116,000 genocide suspects and also conduct workshops for soldiers just returning from the war in the Congo. Phase III will send international and Ugandan facilitators to co-facilitate additional AVP workshops with the newly experienced Rwanda facilitators. A full report on Phase I of the AVP-Rwanda Program can be obtained by e-mailing davidzarembka@juno.com or writing African Great Lakes Initiative, c/o David Zarembka, 7785 Alicia Court, Maplewood MO 63143.

Burundi Trauma Healing and Reconciliation Center

The Peace Team of four — Adrien Niyongabo, Brad Allen, Carolyn Keys, and Charles Berahino — have recently returned to Burundi after three months of training in South Africa. Kate Legum-Barrell organized this training for the Quaker Peace Center in Capetown. Topics included basic trauma counseling, restorative justice, mediation, conflict management, healing of memories, conflict resolution, project planning and management, empowerment, and AVP. A report for this training can be obtained as above. The Team now plans to conduct one-day trauma healing workshops at seminars for religious and lay Catholic leaders, facilitate a number of pilot workshops in Kibimba with pastors, hospital administrators, teachers and staff from the primary and secondary school, and students in the last year of secondary school. They also plan to work with the two Burundians who participated in the AVP-Rwanda Program to help introduce AVP to Burundi.

For related earlier articles see:

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