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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about AGLI Workcamps

What is FPT/AGLI?
Friends Peace Teams (www.friendspeaceteams.org) is the parent organization of the African Great Lakes Initiative (AGLI). Workcamps are one part of the efforts of AGLI (pronounced AG’-lee), which supports reconciliation, community building and trauma-healing at the grass roots level in Burundi, Congo, Kenya, Rwanda, Uganda, and, Tanzania through Alternatives to Violence Project workshops, Healing and Rebuilding Our Communities workshops, mediation training, women’s support groups, etc.

What happens at a workcamp?
Under the direction of local Africans, workcampers build schools, clinics or community structures such as peace centers. For details of the 2013 summer projects see the workcamp description.

When do workcamps take place?
2014 workcamps will begin Saturday, June 28 and end Saturday, August 2.

Who can apply for a workcamp?
Anyone with a leading to do peace work. Workcampers of all ages are welcome, though most are between 18 and 35. To date, the youngest workcamper was 8 and the oldest 84. While many Quakers apply, persons of any spiritual calling are welcome. Typically, on any given workcamp team, there are both non-African (e.g., US, Canadian, British) and African participants. It is expected that each workcamper will work cooperatively and be respectful of and open to other cultures. Each workcamp site is under the direction of a local AGLI partner.

What skills do I need?
No skills are required. Each person does what s/he is able to do. Don’t have carpentry skills? You can carry the lumber. Don’t have bricklaying skills? You might surprise yourself and find you have an aptitude and can learn.

Where will I live? Either with a family or with other workcampers - see the workcamp description for specifics.

Is it dangerous where I will be sent?
While it’s true that the some communities where AGLI projects take place have been sites of conflict, workcamps are
set up well after the conflict is over, when it is deemed safe. Rates of violence in Africa are much lower than in the US. If a situation becomes unsafe in an area of a planned workcamp we will offer workcampers a safe alternative.

How much does it cost and how do I pay?
Each workcamper is expected to conduct fundraising activities and to contribute a minimum of $2,300 (USD) plus the cost of airfare to/from Africa (approximately $2,000 from the US). Workcampers typically raise funds from a variety of individuals and groups, e.g., monthly meetings (churches), yearly meetings, college grants, civic organizations, local businesses, etc. Workcampers hold fundraisers with assistance from their clearness/support committee. $2,300 covers living expenses in Africa, provides a minimum of $1,200 for the purchase of building materials for the workcamp project (building supplies are purchased locally), about 5% goes to AGLI administrative costs, and, it subsidizes the living expenses of Africans who are on the team. For North Americans it also covers the cost of Orientation near Washington DC. AGLI provides information and ideas to help workcampers raise funds. North American workcampers are also responsible for transportation to/from Washington DC for Orientation.

How and when do I apply?
Download the workcamp application or contact dawn@aglifpt.org. The form indicates that each applicant is advised to begin with the clearness committee to determine the depth of his/her leading. Because the process of committee gatherings and reporting can take a little time, and because fundraising will be necessary, it is recommended that applicants begin the process 5-6 months before the late June orientation. Applications will be accepted as long as there are openings on the workcamp teams.

Questions? -- Contact Dawn Rubbert, AGLI’s Program Manager, via dawn@aglifpt.org or 314-647-1287.

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