Alternatives to Violence Project (AVP) Workshops

Participants from the very first Bolivian AVP workshop put AVP guidelines to work at home, creating a whole new dynamic in the family:

“Now when my husband gets angry I just listen to him and try to stay calm so I can talk to him later when he has cooled down.”

“My sister couldn’t believe how I’d changed and started teasing me about my adjective name.  After some time I confronted her gently but directly and she has stopped teasing.”

As AVP spreads, participants find similar richness. As Bolivian Friends say, cojen la chispa -  "they catch the spark".

Working together in a Training for Facilitators It was just in January 2006 that the first full Alternatives to Violence Project (AVP) workshops were given in Bolivia. Workshops have been held every January and June since then, and have now been expanded to the cities of Santa Cruz, Cochabamba, and Sorata. In March 2008 an AVP council from the three larger cities met for the first time.

Workshops have been enthusiastically attended by participants from yearly meetings, Friends schools, and NGOs. Bolivian Coordinator Bernabé Yujra writes:

"With this project we can give support to many people who need to escape the problems of violence that already exist within the families, communities, and barrios where they live.  AVP will be a very important kind of work for Bolivian society."

"Standing Up" exerciseParticipants and local facilitators are encouraging non-Quaker friends and co-workers to attend the workshops. Many participants hold jobs in the social service sector or other positions where the AVP approach tends to have a multiplier effect. AVP:

     *      Enhances non-violent problem-solving skills and communication

     *      Addresses Friends' concerns for peace, community, and equality

     *      Develops leadership and self-sufficiency

Click here to donate in support of spreading alternatives to violence in Bolivia. $1800 will allow an experienced facilitator to travel to Bolivia in support of local facilitators-in-training, $600 will support local workshop costs, $50 covers handouts and supplies for one workshop.

If you're a trained AVP facilitator, fluent in Spanish, and are interested in becoming involved, please contact Jens Braun: sjbraun (at) taconic (dot) net