Quakers from several North American Yearly Meetings established Friends Peace Teams. After witnessing the suffering in Bosnia and Herzegovina, they wanted to make every Friends Meeting and Church a center of peace and reach out to people suffering from war and violence everywhere. They began by encouraging Friends to join Christian Peacemaker Teams (CPT).
An international delegation of members from the US, UK, Canada and South Africa visited Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda, and Burundi following the Rwandan genocide. This established the African Great Lakes Initiative (AGLI). Almost half of the Quakers in the world live in this region.
Friends offered Alternatives to Violence Project workshops in Central America, which led to establishing Peacebulding en las Américas. They expanded to communities, hospitals, schools, churches and prisons across Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras and Colombia.
Friends offered an AVP workshop in East Aceh following the Peace Accord that ended a thirty-year war. This led to peace actions and education throughout Indonesia, Aceh to Papua, Australia, Aotearoa/NZ, Philippines, Nepal and Korea.
Friends Peace Teams affirmed a commitment to conduct the Council’s work as Meeting for Worship with a concern for peace ministries, in the manner of Friends. Several Friends left to join the Nonviolence Peace Force to create a professional, global peace force.
Friends Peace Teams helped close Friends International Library. We transferred the Russian-Quaker publications to Friends House Moscow and took the Power of Goodness global story pool under our care. FPT collects and posts stories with children’s illustrations and supports Peacebuilding UK to offer teacher and school counselor training.
David Zarembka retired as AGLI Coordinator after 18 years of service. Val Liveoak also retired as PLA Coordinator after 23 years of service to Friends Peace Teams. We are forever indebted to their leadings and commitment to peace. AGLI and PLA Working Groups hired Initiative Coordinators, entering a new era of support for an on-going Friends’ peace witness in the world.
The Toward Right Relationship with Native Peoples program, which was under the care of Boulder Friends Meeting since 2013, joined Friends Peace Teams to continue its work of building relationships between Native and non-Native Americans based on truth, respect, justice, and our shared humanity.