for the Future
Many of the participants, leaders and facilitators interviewed had
valuable recommendations for the future of AVP in their communities.
Some are far more achievable in the immediate future than others, but
we have listed them all below.
1) Bring AVP workshops of all levels to these communities: Almost
every single person we interviewed requested more workshops in some
AVP has tried by all means to help us but there is something missing.
those who got AVP are few compared to all who stay here.
So for those in the majority, it does not help—we need more.
My request is that AVP can come back and help everyone.
-- Mudaheramwa Cyprien, Nemba
to adding workshops for those who have yet to experience AVP, many
who had taken the Basic or Advanced training
expressed a desire to continue learning. One participant in Ndego,
52 year-old Nzabamwita Noheri, added, “Please send us more workshops
in a hurry. For us, we have reached the second level and we need to
know what to do now.” One of the leaders in Kageyo, Kadigori
George, reiterated this same sentiment, saying:
It would be good if AVP could come back and allow us to get more knowledge
to put into practice here. We would like to become facilitators so
we can continue the work of AVP here. As of now, only a basic level
workshop has happened here.
-- Kadigori George, Kageyo
One of the facilitators in Kageyo, Zainab Hamis, expressed this same
need for facilitators:
The request I have for those people in Kageyo, is that AVP can take
many workshops there so that they can have their own facilitators.
The young ones should grow up knowing about AVP; this can only be done
by having facilitators there. At least AVP has reached all over the
country of Rwanda. But if possible, we need to try to make every district
have its own facilitators.
request we heard from many individuals, women in particular, was
for workshops aimed specifically at certain groups of
people. For example the six workshops held in Ndego were almost exclusively
attended by women. Nearly every woman we interviewed echoed the same
request as participant, Uwimana Marcelline, who told us: “When
AVP came here before, mostly women were trained in the workshops. Please
bring AVP to the men here so that there is peace in the homes.” In
addition to workshops for men, other women requested workshops specifically
for husbands and wives to attend together. Still others asked that
AVP bring workshops especially for youth. There is a clear feeling
that AVP can help individuals and groups of all ages, and that there
is a real need for AVP on all levels.
2) Develop a permanent base for AVP in each camp: Though only two
individuals we interviewed expressed this idea, it is worth noting.
more AVP workshops because the majority of people did not experience
are not changed. If possible, we would like an AVP cooperative here
in Kageyo; it would be a place where anyone
could go to learn about violence and nonviolence. In the same way that
children go to school, people would come to learn about Transforming
-- Nkuriza Cyprien, Kageyo
In a similar
vein, Niyonteze Helen, a 21 year-old participant from Kageyo, asked
it would be possible to develop a place where they “can
get materials to go teach other people who have not yet experienced
AVP”. The words of Cyprien and Helen are quite innovative and
creative. Establishing a place to which anyone and everyone could go,
at any time, to learn about AVP is an exciting and inspiring concept
which could be as simple as using part of an already existing building
in which AVP manuals and material about nonviolence would be available.
There could be regular meetings to check-in with one another about
challenges and successes upon the road to peace. This request connects
directly to the desire to train facilitators in each camp. If Cyprien
or Helen became a facilitator, Kageyo would most likely be able to
develop its own permanent base for AVP because the initiative and the
imagination are already there.
help: The need for food, clothing and projects to eliminate poverty
raised by almost everyone. Although addressing material
needs is not explicitly part of AVP's mandate it is still possible
that AVP could help in this regard. Potentially, AVP could cooperate
with other organizations working to alleviate hunger and poverty in
Rwanda in order to ensure that material and emotional needs of communities
are improved concurrently—one cannot be effectively improved
without addressing the other. This may sound ambitious and may be a
significant change to our understanding of the role of AVP, however,
a holistic approach to what AVP offers communities would be well-worth
the extra effort required. It is imperative that life-threatening issues
like hunger, lack of health care, lack of education and poverty be
addressed in order to effect sustainable change.
Akayesu Joyce, one of the AVP facilitators, offered a slightly different
approach to the idea of social help, involving the simple act of visiting:
possible, they need social help: giving them clothing, food if possible,
visiting them because they are alone in the camp.
Even the neighbors are a bit far. They need visits so they can hear
about their country, even the language we speak. If I am in here and
the door is closed, I don’t get out and experience the world,
it is like I am in prison. They need to be visited and feel that their
community matters. They need care, because it seems like they lost
love, and they are not with friends or relatives.
These three recommendations come directly from the participants and
facilitators themselves and thus carry far more weight than any we
could offer. The unanimous call for more AVP is encouraging and speaks
to its relevance in Rwanda. Though the difficult circumstances in the
camps threaten the relevance of AVP lessons, the solution is not less
AVP. Rather, there must be more AVP coupled with other anti-hunger
and poverty initiatives
to next page: Conclusion