Alternatives to Violence (AVP) is a peace building programme that originated in the United States and has had a lot of success in Rwanda especially in the Gacaca courts. Participants work to together to identify the root causes of violence and conflict and creative peaceful ways to solve those.
An AVP workshop can help you to
- Manage strong feelings like anger and fear
- Deal more effectively with risk and threatening situations
- Build good relationships with other people
- Communicate constructively in difficult situations
- Recognise the conflict management skills you already have
- Be true to yourself while respecting other people
- Understand why conflict happens
- Approach conflict in a more creative and less reactive way
- Consider your own relationship to systems of violence
- Read more here
AVP in Prisons
Friends Peace House works to promote peace and coexistence in various prisons around Rwanda by conducting multiple day peace trainings for inmates as they serve their sentences. The purpose of this programme in prisons is to personally transform individuals so that they can be more peaceful in their behavior and also have the ability to help others through conflict. When they learn to engage in personal conflict with a peaceful mentality, they’re more likely to make a positive change in the community inside and outside of prison.
Through hands-on group exercises and discussions, participants of these workshops are guided through methods of conflict resolution. A prominent strategy of implementing these methods is through “targeting the individual” by giving them the liberty to express their thoughts and feelings freely in a safe environment.
“One must be trained and actually use the methods that they’re teaching. They must be living in peace personally as well as willing to listen to other methods.”Daniel, AVP trainer on the most important qualities to have when administering peace workshops
“AVP trainers must go through the same training as the trainee – they must be transformed before they can try to help anyone else transform.”Marcelin Sizeli, AVP trainer on importance of personal Transformation
“One can see major differences in post-workshops. Many people come back to do repentance or resolution in their personal lives.“Thacienne, AVP trainer on the impact of AVP workshops