img_6324Peacebuilding en las Américas uses the international workshop curriculum of Alternative to Violence Project (AVP) to give Basic, Advanced and Training for Facilitators workshops.

PLA also offers Trauma Healing Workshops modeled on the Healing and Rebuilding our Communities(HROC) done by our Friends Peace Teams partners in Africa.

The workshops draw on the shared experience of participants, using interactive exercises, discussions, games and role-plays to examine the ways we respond to situations where injustice, prejudice, frustration and anger can lead to violence. Typically, each workshop lasts 18–20 hours over a two or three-day period. Once a participant has taken the Basic and Advanced Workshop, he/she is trained to facilitate the workshops in their communities.

How does AVP work?

AVP is based on several insights.

  • Within each of us, there is a power for good and a potential to transform conflict
  • In any situation, there are nonviolent alternatives to violent responses to conflict.
  • Every culture has its own range of nonviolent alternatives to violence in response to conflict.
  • Each of us has the option to choose our response to each experience of conflict.

The key features of AVP workshops are:

  • Volunteerism – no one participates on a mandated basis, and the facilitators are unpaid volunteers
  • Teamwork – there is always a team of several facilitators of diverse background and life experience, with shared leadership and no guru
  • Diversity – the participants come from a range of ages, cultures, walks of life, and interests, and bring a wealth of life experience to the workshop.
  • A safe learning environment is maintained by group agreement:-
    • no put-downs
    • affirm oneself and others
    • listen and don’t interrupt
    • respect confidentiality
    • volunteer oneself only, speak from the “I”
    • everyone has the right to pass if that is the right thing for them at that time
  • Reliance on Transforming Power
  • Experiential rather than conceptual focus
  • A holistic focus, recognizing the spiritual dimension of the person, rather than a behavioristic or rigidly rule-governed focus
  • Building community is an integral part of the workshop process
  • Fun and laughter is an integral part of the workshop process
  • A varied pace, generally brisk, but with time for reflection
  • Feedback throughout the workshop, with session evaluation and activity debriefing.

Learn more about AVP in the United States and around the world.