David Niyonzima on the role his faith plays in his work
Listen to David Niyonzima, founder and director of the Trauma Healing and Reconconiliation Services (THARS) in Burundi, on how his faith influences his peace work. David leads workshops on trauma healing and providing community spaces for peaceful dialogue and reconciliation.
This audio is an excerpt from a longer interview with David Niyonzima, conducted by Friends Liaison Lucy Duncan and Friends Relations Fellow, Madeline Schaefer. As well as being the director of THARS, David is also a Quaker pastor and member of Burundi Yearly Meeting.
On a beautiful morning in 1993, Burundian David Niyonzima found himself caught in the middle of a violent ethnic conflict. Although he escaped unharmed, 25 people, including eight of his students at a local Quaker pastoral training school, were shot and killed. David spent the next few years fearing for his life and the safety of his family. But after a transformational experience of learning to forgive his attackers, David became committed to working for peace in his war-torn country.
Check out these documents from the AFSC archives on the history of the organization's relationship with Quakers. The relationship has always been a bit rocky, but scattered throughout these documents are a consistent, genuine spirit of reconciliation and love.
This letter was sent to Congress on October 5, 2012, from church leaders including Shan Cretin, AFSC's general secretary, as a call to make U.S. military aid to Israel conditional on Israel's "compliance with applicable U.S. laws and policies” regarding human rights.
Thanks to Andrew Tomlinson, Director of QUNO-NY, Olivia Ensign, QUNO Program Assistant, and Theresa Kirby for assistance composing this post.
Security was tight in New York City as delegates gathered for the high-level meetings that marked the opening of the 67th session of the United Nations General Assembly in late September. There were snipers on the roof of the UN buildings, and black limousines with flashing lights crowded the streets nearby as they lined up to get through the NYPD roadblocks.
Introduction: Today we will peacefully elect (or re-elect) a president and many other national and local representatives. But peaceful elections can't necessarily be taken for granted. Kenya will likely have its next election in March of 2013. As they approach the election, tension and violence have started to take place in some parts of Kenya, especially the coastal and north eastern regions. Many organizations, Quaker and non-Quaker, are working to ease tensions and prevent violence as the election approaches.
AFSC is a Quaker organization devoted to service, development, and peace programs throughout the world. Our work is based on the belief in the worth of every person, and faith in the power of love to overcome violence and injustice. Learn more
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AFSC has offices around the world. To see a complete list see the Where We Work page.