African great lakes initiative

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1001 Park Avenue St Louis, MO 63104 Phone: 314.647.1287


Saturday, June 25 to Saturday, July 30, 2011
Thank you for your interest in taking part in peace team opportunities in the Great Lakes region of Africa. Below is an application form: including a set of questions. We recommend the following course of action as you consider applying to be a member of one of the peace teams.
1. Listen well to the Spirit within to discern how you are led.
2. If you are a Friend, or are associated with a Friends Meeting or Church, ask for a Clearness Committee to sit with you as you test your leading. If you are not associated with a Friends Church or Meeting, please seek out 3 to 6 people with whom you can discuss your leading to apply for this project and ask them to help you gain clarity. (This group is referred to in the application as your Clearness Committee.) As a basis for exploration in meeting(s) with your Clearness Committee you may wish to use the questions below. If you are approved as a peace team member it is expected that you will form a Support Committee which could be the same group or could be different people. (See more information below).
3. As you answer the questions on this application be clear and true to yourself.
Applications will be accepted on a first come/first served basis until the workcamp teams are filled. If you have questions, please do not hesitate to email Dawn Rubbert, AGLI Program Manager, via We will inform you regarding acceptance for a specific workcamp within one month of receiving both your application and the report from your clearness committee.
We hope that after you have sought guidance from the Spirit you will feel led to apply. Whether or not you do, we thank you for your inquiry and for any thought and care you devote to the people of the Great Lakes region as they work to reweave the fabric of their societies.

THE APPLICATION FORM Date: _______________

Complete this form, including answers to the questions, and email it to as a word document or rtf file. Please use color or upper case, or a different font for your responses to enable us to read your application more easily. Do not convert your application to a pdf file.

Which workcamp are you applying for? Please check at least one.

Any____ Burundi ____ Rwanda ____

Your Name: _______________________ Date of birth: __________ Age__ Male __Female __
Your official name as found on your passport:
Country of Citizenship on your passport:
Mailing Address - if you are a student please give current and permanent addresses:

Phone(s) – give all possible contact numbers:

Email address:

List places you have lived for a period of 1 year or more, plus any experiences outside your home country.

Current employment:

Current Volunteer commitments:

If you are a member or attender of a Friends Church or Meeting, give its name and location:

If you are actively involved in a faith tradition other than that of the Society of Friends, please give your affiliation and briefly describe your involvement in this tradition.

List languages that you speak and your level of fluency (e.g., minimal, fair, very fluent)

What is the name and email address of the clerk (chair) of your clearness committee?


1. What experiences or skills do you have that prepare you to work cooperatively with AGLI projects in the Great Lakes Region of Africa?

2. Discuss your ability to work with a team, and to make decisions with a team, using consensus or “sense of the Meeting” (Friends’ decision making process). How do you give and receive criticism?

3. Are you willing to work directly under the supervision of AGLI’s African Partners? WHAT DOES THIS MEAN TO YOU?

4. Why do you want to do this work?

5. How has your interest in Africa developed? Do you have much knowledge of the country and situation where you are applying?

6. Tell us about a time when you discovered that you yourself had a bias or discrimination against a person or group of people. How did you make the discovery? What did you do about it?

7. Circumstances in Burundi, Kenya, and Rwanda, and the weight of working with those who have undergone traumatic experiences, may prove to be stressful. Tell us about a previous stressful situation you have experienced and discuss your ability to work in stressful situations. Describe what you might do to alleviate your stress, and to nurture yourself.


8. Burundi, Kenya, and Rwanda are very poor countries. Daily wages are often less than the equivalent of $1 per day. How do you believe that you will adjust to these circumstances? Tell us your reflections on how you have responded to similar circumstances you have already experienced.

9. AGLI expects that each person chosen for a workcamp peace team will raise a minimum of $2300 (US) to cover the cost of the workcamp plus their airfare to/from Africa (roughly $2000 from the US). Please tell us what ideas you have for your fundraising campaign and who will be helping you with your fundraising.

10. We expect you to meet with a Clearness Committee. The clerk (chair) must email a report of the sense of the committee to We recommend that you first answer the questions below and share your answers with the committee. You may wish to revise your answers following the clearness process. This Clearness Committee may become your Support Committee. See more details below.

11. A critical part of developing the African Great Lakes Initiative has been developing continuing relationships between people living in the Great Lakes region and people outside the region. What continuing role might you envision for yourself, and for your Meeting or other faith community, with Great Lakes Friends following your experience as an AGLI team member?

12. Your return home can be one of the most creative parts of your experience if you use it to synthesize what you have observed while in Africa. It can also be a very trying time as people may not seem to understand your experiences. How do you expect to cope with your re-entry into your home country?

13. Peace Team Members are expected to abide by behavioral guidelines as delineated below.

These guidelines apply during the entire time you are an AGLI Service Team Member.

  1. Respect and follow directions of the African workcamp leaders supervising the workcamp.

  1. Do not buy cooked food from street vendors because the food may have been cooked in unsanitary conditions.

  1. No use of tobacco products, including smoking; no alcohol; no illegal drug use – including marijuana; and, no sex outside of marriage – heterosexual or homosexual. If AGLI learns that you are doing any of these activities you will be asked to return home immediately at your own expense. If you have concerns or questions ask now.

  1. There are many ways of behaving that can be rude or insensitive to Africans. Clean clothing, without tears and/or holes must be worn at all times. Good attire is expected at official functions such as attending church -- women should wear skirts or dresses at least covering the knees and men should wear a nice shirt and long slacks. 

  1. Do not go barefoot outside the place where you are sleeping.

  1. Do not go out at night unless accompanied by a local (African) workcamper or an adult member of your host family.

  1. Be extremely careful with all the gadgets with which internationals are so well endowed — camcorders, CD players, laptops, cameras, video games, etc. This includes the taking of pictures and videos. 

  1. Do not take expensive things, including jewelry, when modestly priced ones will do. Be keenly aware that funds are very scarce for Africans--what you might consider a modest expense (dinner for $3) might be better used by Africans for family welfare.

  1. Individuals will frequently ask you for assistance. Under no circumstances give funds to individuals, no matter how much you want to help. In addition, gifts must not be given to individuals as this will create gossip, envy, and hostility in the community. If you would like to be generous, give funds or gifts to the local AGLI partner organization with which you are volunteering, or which is hosting you. Ask them to use your donation for whatever they consider to be the most pressing need in the community.

  1. Do not take anyone to the hospital, clinic, or doctor. Do not buy medicine for anyone but yourself since you can be blamed if something goes wrong and you perhaps are being scammed and overcharged. If someone is sick, it is the responsibility of African staff to take people for treatment

  1. When possible attend social events including church services around your area.

  1. Wear a seat belt whenever you are in a vehicle that has them. Seat belts are required by law in Burundi, Kenya and Rwanda. Be very cautious about riding a motorcycle.

  1. It is safer not to give a lift to armed people, except when there is no choice. Do not give beer to or buy beer for soldiers, guards, or any other individuals.

If you want a deeper understanding of the need for any of the above rules please ask. They will be discussed during pre-service training in June. Type your name below indicating that you have read, and do accept and agree to live by these guidelines.

I have read these behavioral guidelines and agree to abide by them while a member of the workcamp peace team.

______________________________________________________________ _________________________

Name Date
The African Great Lakes Initiative requires applicants to have a clearness committee in conjunction with the application process. This committee should consist of three to six persons with whom you will be comfortable speaking about sensitive topics. The Clearness Committee should include both youthful and mature members; and ideally, at least one person who has lived in a third-world country. The committee may be appointed by your Friends meeting or church, or, self-constituted. One person should be appointed as clerk (chair) and it is best if that person invites the other people to be part of the committee. If needed, AGLI will try to help you find people for your clearness committee. The committee should meet with you one or more times to discern your clearness to go to Burundi, Kenya, or Rwanda as a member of a workcamp peace team. Topics to be discussed include, but are not limited to, the following.

Are you emotionally, physically, and financially able to go to Burundi, Kenya, or Rwanda?

Are you spiritually prepared?

Are you willing to adhere to the expected conduct while in Burundi, Kenya, Rwanda, or Uganda?

Do you think you will be able to thrive in the minimal living conditions in the Great Lakes region of Africa?
While in Africa every word you speak, every action you take, and the clothes that you wear will be observed and commented upon. You will not have the privacy to which you are accustomed or the flexibility to “do your own thing” and express your individuality in ways that are common in America. How do you expect you will react to this?
Africa has a very poor image in America because the international media mostly reports on conflicts, AIDS, famine and death in Africa. Consequently some people, including perhaps your own close relatives, will react very negatively to your intention to join a workcamp in Africa. How will you handle this?
How does your family and those whom you love most dearly feel about your leaving to go to Burundi, Kenya, Rwanda or Uganda? Have you discussed it with them?
Do you understand and accept the risks that are involved in working in a country which has had periods of violent conflict?
As a workcamp peace team member do you think that you will give more than you receive or receive more than you give?

We ask that the clerk of your committee send an email report to This can be as brief as saying that the committee met with you and believes that your discernment is free and spirit-led or it can be detailed minutes of the meeting(s). The report should give some information about the committee members. Feel free to contact AGLI with any questions


If you are selected to be a member of a workcamp peace team in Burundi, Kenya, or Rwanda AGLI expects you to form a Support Committee before you go. While you will be the person on the "front line" doing the work, your effectiveness will be greatly enhanced by an active, involved committee supporting you and your work back at home. Committee members will become informed of the conditions and progress at your workcamp in Burundi, Kenya, or Rwanda. The duties of the Support Committee include, but are not limited to, the following.

· Help you prepare, in all ways necessary, for your departure to Africa.
· Help you publicize the work and raise funds for AGLI and the workcamp before you leave, while you are there, and after you return.
· Manage any pending issues you have at home while you are away.
· Serve as the conduit for information that you send back home: distributing it to a wider audience of family, friends, the Quaker community, and others, as appropriate. This can be done by many methods including email and may include use of pictures.
· Help you with readjustment back home after you return from the workcamp. This should include meeting with you as often as needed to listen as you assess your time in Burundi, Kenya, or Rwanda and re-acclimate to the home scene.

The clerk of the support committee should have direct contact with the AGLI’s Program Manager, Dawn Rubbert,

AGLI Workcamps Application 2010/updated 12/09 Page

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