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AGLI’s Partners:

Change Agents for Peace, International (CAPI):
This organization began in 1998 when the small number of Quakers in Norway submitted a proposal to the Norwegian Government for peace work in the Great Lakes region of Africa. It has been funded yearly ever since and is AGLI’s sister organization in the region. In 2006, a decision was made to move the organization, as an international organization, to Nairobi, Kenya, where it adopted its current name. This was a clever move since they could now accept donations and grants from anywhere in the world for projects in any of the counties they work in. Their webpage states that their mission is

To build-up individual and organizational Change Agents as catalysts for positive transformation in their local communities and beyond.

AGLI has partnered with CAPI in a number of endeavors. The biggest and most successful one has been the Transformative Mediation Program (see below). AGLI and CAPI have also worked together in the Quaker Peace Network-Africa (see page 4). Both are also members of Friends Church Peace Teams (see below).

As you can see, peace work in the region is intertwined with all the various Quaker organizations. This illustrates the fact that they all work together and complement each other. We don’t need to step on each others toes because there is so much peace work to be done in the region that we could use 100 more Quaker organizations in the region!

Transformative Mediation in Kenya:
In 2006 Judy Friesem and Kim Bush introduced mediation in Nairobi and Western Province, Kenya. The following year George Brose did some follow-up training sessions. The project lapsed with the 2008 post election violence. The program, a joint program of AGLI and CAPI, re-started this September. Theoneste Bizimana from Rwanda and Samuel Kamanzi from North Kivu trained 45 participants in Nairobi and 31 in western Kenya. The new apprentice mediators have been asked to conduct at least five mediations each by January 2011 when there will be follow-up training. Two days after the end of the September training in western Kenya, some of the new mediators were at a meeting and were already discussing mediations that they had done over the weekend!

Friends Church Peace Teams (FCPT):
During the 2008 post election violence in Kenya, Friends Yearly Meetings and organizations met in late January to discuss the violence in the country. At this conference the Friends Church Peace Teams (FCPT) was formed. AGLI coordinator, David Zarembka, and his wife, Gladys Kamonya, were placed on the Executive Committee of the new organization. Later David was appointed Chairman of the Counseling Coordinating Committee. During the following months FCPT did significant peacemaking work in the Turbo Division of Uasin Gishu District where there was considerable destruction and 15% of the population had been forced into internally displaced camps. In May of this year FCPT hired Getry Agizah as its fulltime coordinator.

Recently Friends Church Peace Teams organized the Friends Churches to have a day of prayer on the Sunday before the August 4 vote on the constitutional referendum. On voting day in western Kenya FCPT as part of the Quaker Peace Network organized fifty election observers. On the whole, observers reported that the election went well with only some minor issues. On Sunday, September 19, FCPT is asking all the Friends churches in Kenya to join in the World Council of Churches celebration of the International Day of Peace and to collect an offering for the peace work of FCPT. On the actual International Day of Peace itself, September 21 as declared by the United Nations, FCPT is helping the Turbo Inter-religious Peace Task Force hold a community celebration and a peace march through town. FCPT will then begin a series of Alternative to Violence workshops with youth in the seven locations of Turbo Division in order to begin the process of ensuring a violence-free election during the next Kenyan election in August, 2012.

Turning the Tide (TTT):
Quaker Peace and Social Witness (QPSW), the activist arm of Britain Yearly Meeting, has developed a program called Turning the Tide. This program teaches non-violent direct action to those who wish to change the world in a positive direction, non-violently. Their webpage explains:

This work is about using the power of nonviolence to ‘turn the tide’ of injustice, oppression and disempowerment and to build an inclusive, sustainable and fair world. We seek to improve people’s knowledge about nonviolence and their ability to use the tools and techniques it offers to take practical, effective steps towards that goal of a just and peaceful world. We do this by offering workshops, resources and advice in a range of areas, including: nonviolence, power and change; spirituality and activism; campaigning and organizing; working together; direct action; and building an alternative society.
In December 2009, Steve Whiting, the coordinator of Turning the Tide, and Laura Shipler Chico, Program Manager, Peacebuilding in East Africa, and former AGLI Extended Service Volunteer in Rwanda, conduced a three-day teaser workshop for 20 people in western Kenya. The Turning the Tide program was enthusiastically received and QPSW is working with CAPI to begin an extensive TTT program in Kenya. The program has hired Bernard Lisamadi Agona as its Field Coordinator. A two week training course is being organized by Friends Church Peace Teams to develop local TTT trainers for Kenya.

This is a wonderful development. Turning the Tide nicely compliments the other non-violence programs that AGLI and others are introducing in the region. Alternatives to Violence (AVP) teaches non-violent conflict resolution skills, Healing and Rebuilding Our Communities (HROC) deals with individual and community trauma, and Transformative Mediation trains people in mediation skills that fit in nicely with AVP and HROC. Non-violent direct action, as taught by TTT, rounds out this work.