The Great Lakes Initiative (GLI) began in 2006 as a gathering of Christian leaders from seven countries in the Great Lakes Region of East Africa. The GLI focus countries are: Burundi, Rwanda, Uganda, Kenya, South Sudan, Democratic Republic of Congo and Tanzania. Most of these countries have known unrest, ethnic violence and internal strife in one way or another over many years. There was a felt need for Christians to come together as ambassadors of Christ’s ministry of reconciliation. Four gatherings between 2006-2010 were co-convened through a partnership of Duke University’s Center for Reconciliation (CFR), Mennonite Central Committee (MCC), African Leadership and Reconciliation Ministries (ALARM) and World Vision International (WVI). In 2011, the gatherings transformed into the first annual Leadership Institute. In January 2015, it attained legal registration as a non-profit entity in Uganda.