Frequently Asked Questions
What does ALARM stand for?
The acronym ALARM, stands for African Leadership and Reconciliation Ministries.
Is ALARM a faith-based organization?
Yes, ALARM is a faith-based, non-profit [501 (c) 3] organization that was first registered in the US in November 1998.
Click here to read our Statement of Faith.
What does ALARM do?
Click here to see our programs.
What countries does ALARM work in?
ALARM works in 8 countries in east and central Africa: Burundi, DR Congo, Kenya, Rwanda, Sudan, South Sudan, Tanzania, and Uganda. Click here to learn more about these countries and our programs.
How long has ALARM been in existence?
ALARM was established in 1994 as a response to the genocide in Rwanda. To read more about this click here.
How is ALARM unique from other non-profit agencies/ministries working in Africa?
ALARM is an African organization that began in Africa and is run by Africans, all of whom are citizens of the countries where they serve. ALARM staff members understand the culture, languages, and needs of their respective countries, communities, villages and people. Many of the non-profit organizations working across Africa have been established by internationals. Many of the staff who work for these agencies are expatriates who sometimes do not understand the culture, language, and underlying issues of these countries. Africa’s problems can be solved by Africans. They just need help achieving their vision of a peaceful, productive, and prosperous Africa. There will always be the role of the expatriates in promoting change in Africa, but for true transformation to take root, Africans must themselves envision and work towards a new Africa.
How churches support ALARM?
The success of ALARM is due to God’s provision of numerous church partners, individual friends, foundations and companies. ALARM works with many church partners in Africa, USA and the UK. At any given time ALARM is supported by 20 to 30 church partners that contribute the majority of ALARMs funding (approximately 53%).
About the vision
Why is leadership and reconciliation so important to changing Africa?
Africa’s problems are not poverty or HIV/AIDS. Africa’s problems are not drought or poor road infrastructures. Africa’s problems stem from poor leadership and tribalism. Tribal violence, mass corruption and bad governance have turned parts of Africa into zones of war and destruction. Genocide, civil war, political turmoil, rogue militia groups, bloody coups, slavery, rampant rape, the systematic starvation and torture of innocent people — these are the weapons that leaders use to tear Africa apart. Yet Africa is endowed with well educated and capable professionals, many of whom have fled the continent due to instability in their home countries. In addition, Africa possesses an abundance of natural precious resources (gold, platinum, cobalt, chromium, oil, timber, diamonds , oil, lead, zinc, uranium, copper, natural gas, hydropower, fertile agricultural land, and large deposits of foreign direct investments, and coltan).
Africa’s problems stem from poor leadership and broken, traumatized communities that have had to live, for years, under the threat of violence. Hence, lasting solutions for Africa will only be realized when leaders (from the grass roots up) are adequately equipped with the tools, skills and knowledge needed to reconcile their communities and develop their nations with a vision that will embrace the Christian principles of faith, hope and love — the greatest of these being love for all (paraphrased from 1 Corinthians 13:13).
About getting involved
How can I take a trip with ALARM?
Click here to read about Mission Trip Opportunities.
If I can’t take a trip with ALARM, how else can I help?
Click here to learn the different ways you can help ALARM.
I would like to volunteer with ALARM. What types of volunteer opportunities are available?
We have many ways you can volunteer. Click here to see the current needs.
What are some opportunities for me to volunteer without coming into the office?
Most of our volunteer opportunities will require some presence in our US office, or at an offsite location. Click here to see the current needs.
About donations & sponsorships
Can I donate items to support your programs in Africa in lieu of donating money?
While we appreciate the thought, it is often cost prohibitive to mail/ship items to Africa, and sometimes the items cannot even be used by the people we serve in Africa. It is a much better use of funds and time to donate money so that appropriate items can be purchased in Africa. The strength of US currency also allows us to stretch the money further by purchasing larger quantities. Furthermore, purchasing items on the ground helps stimulate the local economy. However, if you believe you have exception items that you’d like to donate, please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org and we will follow up with you.
I would like to support one or more orphans. Does ALARM have an orphan sponsorship program?
The majority of ALARM’s programs encompass training of church and community leaders, women and youth in leadership, peacebuilding, Bible study, discipleship, forgiveness and reconciliation. ALARM does not have an orphanage, but we support orphans being cared for by families and relatives in their communities. Some of the projects we support provide education, microfinance, vocational training and life skills for the orphans of genocide, tribal wars and HIV/AIDS. Most of the schools we try to support are enrolling children who have been orphaned from HIV/AIDS, tribal conflict and genocide.
Click here to get more information on schools that help orphans and child headed households.
Are my contributions to ALARM tax deductible?
Yes. ALARM is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization, therefore, donations are tax deductible. Receipts are mailed out immediately after the gift is received and tax receipts are sent out at the end of January the following year.
What percentage of every dollar goes to programs?
“In 2009, 83.7 percent of our total operating expenses were used for training programs that develop leaders, reconciling broken relationships and transforming communities.”
About speaking/preaching engagements
I would like to hear more about ALARM. Is it possible to request someone from the ALARM staff body to speak at a school/church/home etc.?
Click here to find out more about requesting for a speaker, preacher from ALARM.
ALARM’s executive team: Rev. Dr. Celestin Musekura, Dr. Meredith Wheeler and/or Mrs. Emily Chengo are often called to make presentations/speeches or preach on behalf of ALARM (Rev. Dr. Musekura is President and CEO of ALARM, Dr. Meredith Wheeler is ALARM’s International Director and Emily Chengo is ALARM’s Africa Director based in Nairobi, Kenya).
About the micro finance program
I would like to know more about ALARM’s microfinance programs.
I would like to buy some of the products of the women in Africa (Ugandan Paper Beaded Jewelry, baskets, etc.). Is it available online?
Yes we do! Please visit alarm-inc.org/store to visit our online store
I would like to host a jewelry party in my home. Where can I get information about hosting such an event?
For more information about hosting a jewelry party for ALARM, email Katherine at Katherine@alarm-inc.org.
Online Store FAQ
What happens to the proceeds from the online store?
All the proceeds benefit the work of ALARM. A portion of the proceeds from bead and sewn products are distributed to the women who produced them, pay expenses for the project and also create additional opportunities for micro-enterprise training and other African Women's Empowerment Initiatives. For more information on how ALARM uses proceeds and donations click here.
I saw these same books on another website and they cost less. Why should I buy them from you?
When you purchase from another store or vendor, ALARM does not receive any of the proceeds. By purchasing the books (or other products) from the ALARM-Store, you are supporting ALARM's work in Africa and helping to develop leaders, reconcile relationships and transform communities.
Will my necklace, bracelet or bag look exactly like the picture?
We have done our best to group products into similar groups. There may be variations in color or pattern, particularly with the beads. As the beads are made from paper, there is some natural variation.
Is my purchase tax deductible?
No, you are purchasing through MerchMo and they are a for-profit organization.