Peacebuilding in East Africa
We work together with local partners in Rwanda, Kenya and Burundi to build a positive, nonviolent grassroots peace movement. Our Turning the Tide (TTT) programme helps local activists to stand up for social justice and peace.
Quakers in Britain partners with Alternatives to Violence Kenya Trust, Rwanda Yearly Meeting and Ministry for Peace and Reconciliation under the Cross (MIPAREC).
Together we deliver locally driven projects organised by community-based volunteers and trainers. The approach is adapted from the Quaker nonviolent training programme, Turning the Tide.
East Africa Programme Manager
Tel: (+44)20 7663 1075
E-mail: Tobias Wellner
Forward Africa Education Trust
We enable disadvantaged children in Rwanda to go to school, where some 62% of children are not able to take up opportunities for secondary education due to the impact of poverty. The children we work with are typically orphans, ex-street children or from mother-led families.
COVID-19 resulted in Rwanda going into lockdown. The schools closed and many people lost their jobs resulting in our students returning to homes with no household income at all and no ability to buy food. To help where we can, we are working with our local partners to provide basic provisions. Every bit helps:
- £10 buys ten kilos of rice or 15 kilos of beans, enough to feed a small family for 4 weeks
- £20 buys 400 breakfasts of porridge
- £50 buys food and provisions for a student and their immediate family for a month
We are aiming to raise £4,000, enough to feed and support our families for 3 months. Any help you can give us will be much appreciated by our students. Please donate through the Donate page on our website Forward Africa
Rwanda & Eastern DRC
African Great Lakes Peace Trust is the newly independent British charity which spun off from the (American Quaker) African Great Lakes Initiative. AGLI personnel still advise us, and some of our applicants reach us through them. We raise and distribute small sums of money to peace building projects in East Africa. We have helped fund workshops in Goma (DRC) to start refugees towards coping with their trauma and managing their resentments of the perpetrators. We have done the same for workshops in Rwanda enabling people with disabilities to build self esteem so that they can handle the discrimination they routinely face.
Email: Elizabeth Cave
Quaker Congo Partnership (QCP)
Registered charity number 1159781, Quaker Recognized Body.
QCP is a partnership between British Quakers and CEEACO, the yearly meeting of Quakers in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo. This is an area which has suffered from years of civil war and still experiences outbreaks of inter community violence. British Friends raise money to be spent on projects agreed our Congolese partners. All the projects benefit the whole community, not just church members. We have been supporting the small community hospital, education costs for vulnerable children, counselling for those who have suffered rape and other violence, youth peace committees in particularly unstable areas and education, agriculture and craft projects to enable women become more economically independent and participate more in community life. We have also financed a water supply to the hospital and village of Abeka and hope to extend this to the next village. A small group of trustees visits every two – three years.
We welcome new people who are interested in getting involved as donors, supporters, associates or trustees.
Green Olive Trust UK is an educational charity working with partners in Kakamega district in rural Western Kenya, who have identified education for bright young people as a means of helping the whole community to lift itself out of poverty.
In the last 5 years Green Olive Trust has provided bursaries for more than 50 promising young people so that they could gain an education at high school, university or college.
The impact of Covid 19
Whilst there have to date been fewer cases of Covid 19 than in Europe the economic impact of the Kenyan government’s measures to lock down the country has been devastating. Most people have lost their source of income – either from formal employment or from informal activity in the local community. Schools and universities have been closed for months, and although universities and some elite schools have instigated on-line learning, the majority of young people have not been able to gain access. They have lacked both equipment and internet connection.
We have helped a small community primary school to rebuild inadequate classrooms and provide a new latrine block.
We are supporting a local agricultural initiative, training local farmers in the construction and use of greenhouses (polytunnels). They are delighted that this programme has been able to continue despite the pandemic.
In response to the impact of the pandemic on education we have started to fund laptops and data bundles for some of the most needy university students.
E-mail: Green Olive
North Wales Area Meeting Kenya Link began in 2004, following the FWCC Triennial in Auckland, when we formed a link with Kigama Monthly Meeting in Western Province. The aim was spiritual exchange. We also help support their AIDS orphans, raising funds for school uniforms, shoes and food. About 25 water filters have been installed for some of the AIDS widows, obviating the need for fuel for boiling: women walk miles to fetch water, negotiating a steep clay slope to a spring. We currently support four young people in practical further education and are fundraising for a large rainwater tanks for the Friends Primary School.
E-mail: Margaret Clark
E-mail: Nick Jewitt
The Kenya Schools Project is working in partnership with the Friends United Meeting African Ministries office in Kisumu, Kenya to support the 200+ Friends secondary schools and about 1000 primary schools in Western Kenya, to improve the academic standards of those that are less well-endowed, and to help them be more aware of the Quaker ethos with which they were founded. Based in Kisumu, Zadock Malesi has been appointed for two years as Education Secretary to support school principals and Yearly Meeting Education Secretaries.
E-mail: Roger Sturge
Huntingdon – Kitale Partnership. Huntingdon LQM and Friends Church Kitale are working together to reduce their carbon footprint. Huntingdon Friends are making ‘green’ financial savings by, for example, walking to town rather than driving; eating less meat; or using only rainwater to water the garden. Commitments are entered into a book of pledges and the money saved calculated. It is then transmitted to Kitale, via Sustainable Global Gardens, who work with Friends there to determine what varieties of trees should be planted. So far, savings of £249 have enabled the planting of over 1000 trees and reduced Friends’ collective carbon footprint by half a tonne of CO2 – and as the scheme continues to expand those same trees will provide food, wood, shade, prevent soil erosion and sequester CO2 for years to come.
Mediation & Restorative Justice. Marian Liebmann visited Uganda in 1999 at the request of Grace Kiconco Sirrah’s Restorative Justice Initiative, providing training for criminal justice professionals in the run-up to the introduction of Community Service Orders. In 2002, hoping to enhance the use of Uganda’s Children Statute 1996, Save the Children asked Grace to write a manual to train Ugandans in victim-offender mediation; Marian visited again to provide training. In 2011 she provided mediation and restorative justice training to criminal justice professionals, and organizations in Northern Uganda helping those suffering from the effects of the Lord’s Resistance Army. In 2012 she returned to run a Training for Trainers course. For all these Grace was co-trainer.
E-mail: Marian Liebmann
The Hope Project (UK) works with community development and peace groups, community mediation and legal assistance, adult literacy, nursery education and landmine/UXO issues in Kasese District, Western Uganda. The picture shows a tribal women’s group dramatising their recent history. The British workers are Diana & John Lampen, and our main partners are Rwenzori Peace Bridge of Reconciliation and the Ibanda Literacy Schools. The work is supported by Stourbridge Local Quaker Meeting and Central England Area Meeting.
We have recently been supporting a programme to teach women and girls how to make their own efficient and reusable sanitary pads.
Rwenzori Peace Bridge of Reconciliation worked to educate voters in their rights and prevent violence in Kasese District during the 2021 elections. A short account of what they achieved can be found at this link.
E-mail: John Lampen
The Chrysalis Youth Empowerment Network (CYEN) enables the running of the Butterfly Project for young social entrepreneurs in Uganda, helping young people become changemakers in their communities – city slums and poor rural areas. There are Chrysalis Centres on the edge of a slum in Kampala and in the rural north; we are in the process of building a secondary school and seeking support to complete the project. Nick Jewitt (Bangor) and David Bale (Godmanchester) are on the advisory board, and Nick is a Trustee.
email: Nick Jewitt
Anger Management with Art. In 2011 Marian Liebmann responded to a request from Grace Kiconco Sirrah, working former child abductees of the Lord’s Resistance Army, finding found that anger was still a big problem. She visited to run 3-day workshops on Anger Management with Art in three towns in Northern Uganda, Lira, Gulu and Kitgum, for groups varying in size and composition. 28 men and 40 women took part. Participants found using art materials helped them to express their thoughts and feelings. She returned in 2012 and ran follow-up workshops, finding that many people had turned their lives round and also influenced neighbours ‘along the way’.
E-mail: Marian Liebmann