Alternatives to Violence
The Alternatives to Violence Project (AVP) began in 1975, when a group
of inmates near New York City asked a local Quaker group to provide
them with non-violence training. Highly experiential in nature, the
workshop encourages participants to recognize that they can best find
their own answers to the conflicts they encounter.
AVP workshops focus on the following themes:
> Seeking that which is good in ourselves and others
> Community building skills: trust, respect, and inclusiveness
> Communication skills: deep listening, speaking with clarity, and responsibility
> Conflict Transformation
There are three levels of AVP training: Basic, Advanced, and Training
for Facilitators. All workshops last for three days and emphasize building
community among participants. The Basic workshop provides an initial
introduction to the concepts outlined above. In the Advanced workshops,
participants choose the thematic focus that they want to explore more
fully. Examples of such themes include fear, anger, forgiveness, or discrimination.
In the Training for Facilitators, participants learn the skills needed
to lead workshops on their own.
Rwanda: AVP-Rwanda is involved in two on-going projects:
Kenya: Due to the violence after the December 27, 2007 elections, AVP
in western Kenya plans are conducting more than 100 basic and advanced
in various communities. Many of these workshops will involve the young
people who were involved in much of the local violence after the election.
Sites may include Bondo in Nyanza Province; Takatifu Gardens in Shinyalu,
Lumakanda, Kakamega, Lugari District, and Vihiga District in Western
Province; and Ndalu in Rift Valley Province. Each site will have up to
two workshops so that each area can be adequately impacted.
Peace Centre in Lubao, under AGLI’s partner, Friends
for Peace and Community Development, has completed a 20 bed residential
building and is now roofing the administrative/library building next
In September, the week-long AVP International Gathering is planned for
the Bishop Stam Conference Centre near Kakamega. There will be ample
opportunities for participants at the conference to facilitate AVP workshops
before or after the Gathering.
AGLI is also supporting reconciliation efforts on the border between
the Kipsigis (Rift Valley Province) and the Kisii (Nyanza Province) where
more than 30 people were killed and where hundreds of homes, a school,
and numerous businesses were burned.
AVP-Western Kenya has completed 42 one-day listening workshops with
the Center for Disease Control in Kisumu and others with the bicycle
taxi drivers in Kakamega and the staff of the Eldoret prison. As called
upon, the program will conduce additional one-day listening workshops.