The mission of the Great Lakes Initiative (GLI) is to mobilize restless Christian leaders from across the Great Lakes region of Africa, create a space for their transformation, and empower them to participate in God’s mission of reconciliation in their own communities, organizations, and nations.
Since its launch in 2005, the center has identified the Great Lakes region of Africa as a key geographical area of partnership. Together with the Mennonite Central Committee, African Leadership and Reconciliation Ministries (ALARM), and World Vision International, the center hosts has hosted yearly gatherings in the region that have contributed to forming a fresh movement for peacemaking.
Bringing together Christians from nine countries in Africa, the GLI has hosted numerous regional leadership institutes based on the same model as the Summer Institute for Reconciliation. The GLI deepens its work at the national level through the creation and support of individual Country Working Groups, each focused on specific national reconciliation issues.
Duke Divinity students involved in programs like the GLI Institute learn lessons in reconciliation that they can apply to other contexts.
This annual program offers participants an opportunity to interact with and learn from some of the most remarkable and dynamic Christian leaders in East Africa. Through seminars such as “Civil Society, Political Engagement, and Advocacy,” and “Counseling and the Healing of Memory,” participants engage a specific theme intensively with others who have similar expertise. Participants also gather for prayer, for plenary sessions, and for a pilgrimage to a local community of peace and hope.
The African Great Lakes Initiative would not be possible without abiding and mutually transformative leadership and support from partner organizations in Africa. These ministries have committed time, institutional energy, and resources to this initiative over many years of shared partnership.