Africa Leadership And Reconciliation Ministries (ALARM) was founded in 1994 in response to the Rwandan genocide. Thousands of people were murdered, many were forced to seek refuge in neighboring countries. The church was also affected. Over 70 percent of Rwandan pastors were either killed or forced to flee.
Similary, violent ethnic, civil and political events were escalating in Uganda, Southern Sudan, and Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) among other countries in East and Central Africa. These events adversely affected the Christian church in those areas and continue to do so to date.
As a result, ALARM, a faith based organization, was founded to promote servant leadership, biblical forgiveness and reconciliation in Africa. As an Africa-based and Africa-led organization, ALARM has expanded and currently operates in eight countries in East and Central Africa, namely, Burundi, Democratic Republic of Congo, Kenya, Rwanda, South Sudan, Sudan, Tanzania, and Uganda, with its headquarters in Nairobi, Kenya
Security officers trained by ALARM building a new safe house for an 85 year old woman
ALARM Rwanda Chapter
The country of Rwanda underwent terrible tragedies that include wars and genocide that left an imaginable leadership vacuum, and a loss of prophetic voice, that of the church. After the 1994 genocide, Rwanda was in a dare need of servant leaders to mend social fabric brokenness, foster healing of the nation and initiate economic empowerment of many vulnerable orphans and widows.
The dark historical past of Rwanda that left Rwanda in the aftermath of genocide was characterized by many internally displaced people and refugee camps in the neighboring countries. There was a great need of training servant leaders who could help in peace building, forgiveness, and reconciliation to end the country’s vicious ethnic conflicts.
The Church was to work hard to regain its prophetic voice by reshaping the discipleship of its members becoming Christ- like transformed Christians, and teaching the Bible beyond mere production of converts. Indeed, the many years of poor Biblical Teaching had produced doctrinal syncretism, nominal Christianity, nepotism and corruption in the Church.
The country has witnessed a lot of fights for Church positions leaving no space for younger generation of leadership to emerge. It is in this context that ALARM was created to fill the gap focusing on servant leadership development, peace building, trauma healing, forgiveness, and reconciliation during post genocide period for the transformation of the society.
ALARM was registered as a Non–Governmental Organization (NGO) in Rwanda in 2000. ALARM Rwanda functions under the overall organizational vision of “Africa without violent tribal and religious conflicts”.
ALARM and its partners train servant leaders who reconcile and transform their communities. At WLTI graduation, Rev. Dr. Celestin congratulates one of the facilitators for a job well done of training 54 women servant leaders.
About ALARM Rwanda
ALARM Rwanda develops servant leaders in the Rwandan Church and community who reconcile and transform lives affected by conflict and injustice. ALARM 2016-2020 Strategic Plan guides the focus and the operations of ALARM RWANDA. The issues in the country of Rwanda lies in servant leadership, peace building and reconciliation and community transformation.
The aftermath of genocide left Rwandans internally displaced and scattered in refugees Camps with returnees settling in the country. This explains the need to rewrite the Rwanda history in training servant leaders who can bring peace and end vicious tribal and religious conflicts.
In such a scenario, the Church is working hard to regain its prophetic voice and to disciple its members, to tackle the culture of producing converts, loyal to their tribal chiefs rather than becoming Christ- like transformed Christians. Many years of poor Biblical Teaching has produced doctrinal syncretism, nominal Christianity, simony, nepotism and corruption in the Church.
The fight for Church positions leaves no space for younger generation of leadership to emerge. ALARM Rwanda therefore, works with leaders, training them in servant leadership, peace building, mediation, justice and reconciliation challenging them to focus on the well-being of the whole community. True community transformation and nation-building can be achieved by and with servant leaders who are themselves reconciled and transformed to become wounded healers.
From ALARM Demonstration field, local farmers get vegetables to feed their children and seedlings to use in their family gardens
Thematic Areas and Programs Strategy
- Servant Leadership Development: Through training seminars, workshops and conferences ALARM Rwanda trains church leaders, women, youth, community leaders and local government officials, judges in principles of servant leadership, good governance, peace mediation, reconciliation and community economic empowerment.
In addition, ALARM Rwanda targets untrained leaders in church in the far remote rural areas to shape their competencies in servant leadership through a three-year spaced program (Pastoral leadership Institute and Women Leadership Institute) tailored to meet the current needs of the church and the community.
- Peace Building, Justice and Reconciliation: ALARM Rwanda equips Church leaders, government and community leaders, women, youth, community mediators, District Security Officers, and lawyers with skills and knowledge in their roles in peacebuilding, understanding conflict, conflict management, mediation, biblical forgiveness, reconciliation, human rights, trauma healing and social justice. It has encouraged the judges to start a law firm and a mobile legal clinic.
- Community Transformation: At the root of ALARM Rwanda’s economic empowerment initiatives is the desire to break the cycle of mental and physical poverty. Community transformation has encouraged its trainees to focus on sustainable development while encouraging and facilitating reconciliation from tribal, denominational, religious, gender conflicts, to list a few. Through ALARM Rwanda Community Transformation projects, lives and communities are transformed and developed when, leaders (both men and women) are trained with skills and knowledge to address the needs of their communities.
Together with the local farmers, Michelle pause for a pictures after demonstrating to them how to make the compost and how to develop conservation agriculture
ALARM Rwanda has been able to serve a total number of 1,877 people by the year 2019 that in various activities related to servant leadership, peace, justice and reconciliation and community transformation.
- Servant Leadership: ALARM Rwanda has trained leaders in the church, community, civil society and the education sector. Through ALARM’S Leadership Training Institute, ALARM Rwanda has graduated 634 men and women and 25 of them are to graduate as trainers of trainers to replicate our programs training more in their respective communities.
Trainees were from all the provinces of the country of Rwanda- Eastern, Western, Northern and Southern of Rwanda. ALARM Rwanda trained 50 leaders from Eastern Province: Bugesera, Nyagatare, Ngoma, Gatsibo and Kigali City: Gasabo, Kicukiro on New Law Governing faith – based organization.
Again 25 of those ALARM Rwanda recently graduated candidates will pursue our TOT program to become our community ambassadors in implementing ALARM curricula in their respective communities. This should have started if it were not COVID 19 pandemic.
- Peace, Justice and Reconciliation Department: ALARM Rwanda has been known in leadership circles for its proven practical experience in responding to the consequences of the 1994 Rwandan genocide bringing together perpetrators released under a presidential decree or who have finished their sentence with the victims, initiating the restorative justice and community reintegration.
ALARM has supported lawyers in Musanze and Rubavu to start establishing their law firm and a mobile legal clinic which has recorded good success in intervening for the most vulnerable in Musanze area and in Cyiziba Correctional Center. ALARM has promoted unity, peace and reconciliation via “Unforgivable Film Screening Event”.
It contributed to the building of a house of peace and reconciliation in Bugesera Village of Truth and Reconciliation. In total 251 people have benefited from Peacebuilding, Justice and Reconciliation program. This year (2020) was set among other activities to bring awareness on the integration of the released prisoners country wide.
- Community Transformation Department: The Community Transformation projects that ALARM Rwanda has undertaken are in Rutsiro, Western Province with Compassion Now and in Burera with the Education Farming Project. This came in addition to the Women Empowerment projects with small loan revolving, the Institute of Women for Excellence and the Cyimbili Coffee Plantation Project. ALARM recorded the women progress in developing income generating activities and in educating the community how to fight against malnutrition. About 696 beneficiaries have been served from Community Transformation.