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Your location>Home>Publications>PeaceWays>Spring 2009

   
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Executive Summary

Introduction

Context

AVP/Implementing Organization

Evaluation Methodolgy

Findings

Recommendations for the Futute

Conclusion

Appendices

Alternatives to Violence Project (AVP)

The Alternatives to Violence Project (AVP) was founded in 1975 when a group of inmates near New York City asked a local Quaker group to provide them with nonviolence training. AVP is now an international volunteer movement dedicated to teaching community building, mediation, and leadership skills through experiential workshops. During three-day workshops, AVP focuses on the following themes:
• Seeking that which is good in ourselves and others
• Cooperation
• Community building skills: trust, respect and inclusiveness
• Communication skills: active/deep listening, speaking with clarity, and responsibility
• Conflict Transformation

Each workshop aims to teach on three levels: the heart or emotional level, the head or intellectual level, and the hand or practical level. The content of each workshop is drawn from the participants’ own lives acknowledging that participants are the experts about what is needed in their own communities.

There are three levels of AVP training: Basic, Advanced, and Training for Facilitators. The Basic workshop provides an initial introduction to the concepts outlined above. The Advanced workshop allows participants to choose the thematic focus of the workshops (e.g. fear, anger, forgiveness, or domestic violence). Training for Facilitators teaches participants the skills needed to lead workshops.

Implementing Organizations

The Alternatives to Violence Project—Rwanda was established as a joint project of Rwanda Yearly Meeting of Friends (RYM) and the African Great Lakes Initiative (AGLI) of the Friends Peace Teams. The African Great Lakes Initiative strengthens, supports and promotes peace activities at the grassroots level in the Great Lakes region of Africa. To this end, AGLI responds to requests from local religious and nongovernmental organizations that focus on conflict management, peacebuilding, trauma healing, and reconciliation. AGLI is an initiative created by the Friends Peace Teams, an organization consisting of sixteen Quaker Yearly Meetings in the United States who have united to support the traditional emphasis of Quakers in promoting a more peaceful world. Since its inception in 1999, AGLI has worked with the people of the Great Lakes region on a wide variety of projects ranging from international volunteer efforts to the creation of AVP programs in Burundi, Kenya, Rwanda and the Congo, to the introduction of healing work in Burundi, Rwanda, Uganda and the Congo.

AVP is coordinated and administered by Rwanda Yearly Meeting’s Friends Peace House (Urugo Rw’Amahoro), which was founded in 2000 with three primary goals in its mission statement: 1) to build a sustainable and durable peace in Rwanda; 2) to restore the relationships that were destroyed by the war and genocide to ensure peaceful co-existence; and, 3) to reintegrate the people who were harmed by the tragic events of this country. Friends Peace House works primarily with women, widows, children and youth, genocide survivors, prisoners, community and religious leaders, and other grassroots organizations.

AVP-Rwanda is administered by a nine-member committee and has 73 active facilitators throughout Rwanda. Since 2001 they have organized over 500 workshops around the country. A total of 31 workshops were held in these four resettlement camps in the east and a total of 560 individuals participated between March 2007 and April 2008. Six additional workshops are planned for another resettlement village.

Go to next page: Evaluation Methodolgy