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Central Africa Mediation Appeal Letter

February 9, 2009

Dear Mediation Supporter,

Thank you so very much for your donation to the African Great Lakes Initiative's Mediation Program. I am deeply grateful for your support in making this vision a reality. Over the span of three years, with patience and the hard work of many people, a vibrant community of mediators is growing in the Great Lakes region of Africa.

After Alternatives to Violence (AVP) was introduced into Rwanda in 2001, AVP facilitators were frequently asked to help solve disputes. Unfortunately, with no training or skills in this area, the facilitators had to decline these invitations. David Bucura (Mediation Coordinator) and others asked AGLI to initiate a mediation program so the facilitators could assist in resolving conflicts. Unfortunately, AGLI did not have the capacity to respond to this request at that time. Waiting in the light is sometimes difficult—especially when urgent needs are swirling around you.

Three years ago in early 2006, Kim Bush and Judy Freisem, an experienced mediation trainer, began touring the region and held five mediation trainings in Rwanda, Burundi, Congo and Kenya. In the summer of 2007, George Brose, a professional mediator, conducted mentoring refresher courses at the places Judy and Kim had visited. Then, in early 2008, Bridget Butt of Change Agents for Peace International, followed up with trainings in "transformative mediation" with George returning in the summer of 2008 to do more mentoring and in-service trainings. We immensely appreciate the contribution that Judy, Kim, and George have made to the program.

To date, about 200 people received basic and transformative mediation training. These people have taken what they have learned back to their neighborhoods, families, and churches. (I have included a report from George Brose on the details of the mediation program).

We wish the program to continue. George plans on returning a third time during the summer of 2009. We hope to raise $6,000 and we would like to ask for your continuing support.

Donations are tax-deductible and you can send a check in the enclosed envelope or donate online by clicking here. In either case, be sure to designate your contribution to "Mediation Program."

We truly appreciate your consideration.

Peace,

David Zarembka, Coordinator
African Great Lakes Initiative