David Bucura is a Rwandan pastor and is clerk of the Africa Section of Friends World Committee for Consultation. Involved with many peace and reconciliation programmes, he has recently been appointed as part-time coordinator for Central Africa for the African Great Lakes Initiative.
What is the role of the clerk of the Africa Section of FWCC?
The clerk of FWCC/Africa section is to chair meetings, to represent FWCC/Africa Section wherever is needed.
What are the responsibilities of a pastor in Rwanda Yearly Meeting?
The responsibilities of a pastor in Rwanda Yearly Meeting are: to teach in Sunday schools, to preach on Sunday but not all Sundays, to represent the church in some government meetings, to lead the church in some manners, to coordinate local church activities in collaboration with committees. The pastor advocates for vulnerable members in collaboration with committees.
Please tell me a little bit about: the Peace Library; the Friends Peace House; AVP; the Transformative Mediation Programme?
The Rwanda children’s peace library is founded by Rwanda Yearly Meeting in cooperation with transformational leadership centre. It was founded in June 2009. It helps children from 5-14 ages from different schools. In 1994, young people were manipulated and used to destroy the country and kill people even to make violence in Rwanda. This programme is helping children changing their evil attitudes to good attitudes, they learning how to build sustainable peace in their families, communities, schools and in Rwanda. They learn peer mediation and have a culture of reading. They get books around without any difficulties. The main purpose is: to teach sustainable peace among the children, to train and help develop the skills of children through reading, to have partnership with kids/young children in different schools.
Friends Peace House is a house of Rwanda Yearly Meeting, is used as the coordination of all peace activities within Rwanda Yearly Meeting.
AVP is called Alternatives to Violence Project, which helps to build peace in many countries. It was started in Rwanda in 2001 from USA with some volunteer facilitators. It helped a lot with different people, it bought victims and perpetrators together during the workshop. It has what we call transforming power, this helps a lot to different people.
Transformative mediation started in 2007 in Rwanda, Burundi, DRC, and in Kenya. It helps to build relationship to people. It trains mediators and now we have over 1,000 mediators and over 1,500 cases solved through this programme. The conflicts arise because of what we passed through and we are experiencing many cases.
It is now 17 years since the genocide in Rwanda began. Is there still much work for Friends and organisations like AGLI? If so, what?
Yes, like these days, we are mourning and people are traumatised and they need counsellors to help, and now the major effects of trauma are coming up, we need counselling centres to help. The consequences are still and we need to continue teaching on peacebuilding and reconciliation.
Do you have any messages for Quakers in Britain?
Â I’m asking Quakers of Britain to join us on great lakes region peace building like children peace library, Healing and Rebuilding Our Communities (HROC)P and transformative mediation. We do need support from them, like experienced people to come and facilitate and also we need funds for continuing our activities.
David will be speaking on Wednesday 20/04/2011 at 12:30pm at the Quaker Centre, Friends House, 173 Euston Road, London NW1 2BJ. Book your free place at www.quaker.org.uk/bucura or contact the Quaker Centre on [email protected] or 020 7663 1030 for enquiries.