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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

Recommendations 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 way:

I think AVP has tried by all means to help us but there is something missing. All 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

In addition to adding workshops for those who have yet to experience AVP, many individuals 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.

Another request we heard from many individuals, women in particular, was the need 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.

We need more AVP workshops because the majority of people did not experience AVP here—they 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 Power.
-- Nkuriza Cyprien, Kageyo

In a similar vein, Niyonteze Helen, a 21 year-old participant from Kageyo, asked if 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.

3) Social help: The need for food, clothing and projects to eliminate poverty was 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:

Also if possible, they need social help: giving them clothing, food if possible, and 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

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