FPT was founded about twenty years ago by Quakers from several Yearly meetings with the goal of making every Friends Meeting House and Church a center for peace-making. This work has formed “Initiatives” to offer opportunities for communities in conflict to create human and material resources to assist these communities to build peace. FPT is governed by a Council of Friends that meets annually, face to face, and monthly via telephone- bridge and voice-over-internet. The Council includes representatives of several Yearly Meetings, as well as appointed members-at-large. FPT is delighted that Australia YM has just joined us in 2014! The administrative HQ is at St Louis FM in St Louis, MO.
The African Great Lakes Initiative (AGLI) was the first Initiative to become active. It began with a tour of Quaker communities in Kenya, Uganda, Burundi, Rwanda and Tanzania in 1999, by Friends from the USA, UK, Canada and South Africa. The goal was to establish personal relationships with people in that very violent region, and to learn of and support Friends initiatives for building local peace. Friends used a combination of locally developed techniques combined with ‘imported’ ideas such as the Alternatives to Violence Program (AVP). AGLI has developed a network of programs throughout the region that nurture and learn from each other, frequently exchanging methodologies, such as Healing and Rebuilding Our Communities (HROC) community trauma healing and interventions to stem election-based violence. David Zarembka has been the main energizer of AGLI and is its coordinator.
Peacemaking en Las Américas (PLA) is the second FPT Initiative to have formed. Breathed to life largely by Friends in our southern USA tier, but now supported by Friends from all over the USA and abroad, PLA works with communities in Nicaragua, Honduras, El Salvador, Guatemala, Colombia, and Bolivia. Our work there makes extensive use of AVP methods to reduce violence among individuals and groups, and has recently been using the AGLI-developed HROC community trauma healing programs. Val Liveoak has been the principal energizer of PLA and continues to serve as coordinator.
The Asia West Pacific Initiative (FPT-AWP) is our most recent Initiative. Initially called the Indonesia Initiative and developed over several years by Nadine Hoover and Alfred (NY) Friends Meeting, FPT-AWP was, for its first years, focused entirely on enabling communities to live peacefully in civil-war stricken provinces of Indonesia. This work has used AVP a great deal, and have now developed an Indonesian community trauma healing methodology. In addition, a program of pre-school programs for very young children has developed useful learning in some villages and a program to create locally produced clay-based water filters is underway. Since it’s origin in Indonesia, FPT-AWP has now grown to do regular work in Australia, Nepal, and the Philippines. And the Asia West Pacific Initiative is continuing to grow even this year.
Each of the Initiatives’ work is steered and overseen by a Working Group that meets in similar fashion to the FPT Council, that is, largely by Skype.