I really miss David and Gladys. David started working in East Africa, just two years before me. While he was in Tanzania with Peace Corps, I started working with East Africa YM of Friends teaching at Lirhanda, Malava, and Namirama Girls High Schools for ten years. I have been returning to Kenya each year ever since, working in supporting Kenyan women friends pastors to help women in Uganda and Tanzania. We have shared many journeys, conferences, and times together over the last 50 years. It was a shock to hear of first Gladys and then David dying of Covid.
I really admired David's humility, his encouragement of lifting up East Africans to do peacework. We shared the concern that those of us from America should help East Africans to use the resources they have and lift themselves up using their own talent and natural resources and not depend on people from elsewhere to solve all issues. Also to work cooperatively with others, rather than competing, for the good of all people. He did an excellent job of sending updates to a large number of people overseas, helping all people who were not in Kenya see what was going on in the local villages, rather than just the news printed in official newspapers or websites. I last saw David when he came in his pickup with several grandchildren to collect the package of things I delivered from the States. He seemed so cheerful and upbeat. My prayers are with you all as you adjust to this terrible unexpected loss. Thanks God, for David and Gladys and all they did over the years to make this world more peaceful. Marian Baker, New England YM
Eugine Micah( Roylandz Grandson To David Zarembka)
published a comment
I am because he was. I've had the privilege to interact with Grandpa David zarembka on a daily basis, be it on phone or mail. One of the greatest things that I can remember about him is when I was in my second year of high school education, my dad failed to pay my school fees due to poverty and other uknoen issues. I approached grandpa and we had a meeting with him for one full day. From that day to date he has been paying my school fees be it in highschool and college, he has also been paying my rent, food and clothing. I'm really lost right now, even though before he was admitted in hospital he called me to tell me that he suspected that he had been infected with Covid-19 and he didn't think that he was going to make it. I am now in total distress, I don't know what to do where to run for help etc.
It's me and my brother Danson, Grandpa used to call him Danny
I met David Zarembka for the first time in 1999 when the Friends Peace Teams formed the “African Great Lakes Initiative (AGLI/FPT) to be supportive of peace work undertaken by Quakers living in the Great Lakes region of East Africa as a way of responding to the consequences of the brutal history of colonization, civil war, ethnic hatreds, and genocide mainly in Burundi, Rwanda.
In 1999, I co-led the first work camp along with Adrian Bishop organized in Kamenge and Kibimba, two localities total destroyed by the 1993 civil war.
The work camp aims at rebuilding the community by bringing Quakers mainly from America to come in and contribute in rebuilding confidence between Burundians living separately following the 1993 civil war by dealing with its consequences.
The AGLI’s second work camp in Burundi, was conducted in 2003, with the objective to work with the Kibimba Peace Committee (founded in 1994) to build houses for families whose homes had been destroyed during the civil crisis between 1993.
The house building encouraged families to return to their home and lands, and to resume the usual life of the community. It also reinforced the many- faceted program of involving people from all ethnicities to work together to rebuild their lives and the life of the community of Kibimba, and the surrounding collines.
With no time during war or genocide to adequately mourn lost family, Dave’s coordination became an inspiration to different groups of Quakers (women, youth and others) to initiate different peace organization dealing with Trauma, Social cohesion and economic resilience for women and youth for the community wellbeing.
In 2016 with HROC and IPB organizations, it’s where, I got opportunities to discover who David Zarembka was in matter of Peace building self-commitment for the Great Lakes Region. Travelling by bus from Kenya to Burundi at his age. How hard he was working to coordinate so many program in this region.
Following the 2015 election crisis, Dave Zarembka, invested himself in fundraising a considerable fund for peace dialogue workshops in Bujumbura. A project that showed what is the importance of peace dialogue in seeking to reconcile identity groups.
I learnt from him the fundraising tools during the Speaking tour I participated in different States of USA and in Global Giving fund collection.
I wish to him and his wife a heavenly rest and acknowledge his contribution in my current way of dealing with peace activities