Listen to the song made by two inmate Alternative to Violence Program (AVP) Facilitators from the El Porvenir Prison in Atlantida, Honduras! (Scroll down to see Lyrics in English)
What are the conditions that these AVP Facilitators live in?
Facilitator Ondina Murillo, who helped begin the program in the Prison, describes: “The El Porvenir Prison “La Granja” is a place that is adequate for 300 people, but 520 people live there. Some people don’t even have a bed to sleep on. They sleep on the floor. The beds are stacked four levels high, one above the other, three beds more than what there should be. The person who sleeps on the top bunk has to deal with a horrible heat day and night. There is only one bathroom for 20 to 22 people who all live in one room. The food is very, very bad. The prison has a budget of 15 Lempiras, which is less than a dollar, for each inmate’s daily breakfast, lunch and dinner. It is terrible. There is a patio space where the inmates play soccer, but there are no other spaces for other types of recreation. There is no interest in rehabilitation, even though the definition of a prison in Honduras is “rehabilitation”. There is none of this. Really, they are there to oppress, repress, and mistreat. Each person tries to live their life the best or worse that they can, but it is not a place for humans. It is completely inhumane. There is a school that is way too small to be a place where they teach. There is not a room for us to go and give our workshops. There is violence everywhere: fights, confrontations, insults, mistreatment, psychological mistreatment. It is an environment where you go to die.”
This song is an example of how Transforming Power has given hope and a new understanding of life for many of these inmates. Through the work of three dedicated, external AVP Facilitators and three internal inmate AVP Facilitators, more than 100 inmates have taken at least a Basic workshop.The workshops have had a profound impact on the inmates. One participant told Facilitators how AVP showed him that he had a heart, something that he thought he had lost long ago. There has been a request for more yoga/meditation training after the trauma healing workshop. Some workshop participants formed an AVP soccer team they named PAV (AVP in Spanish) to honor their love for the program. Due to the success of the workshops, a group of ten Rondines, who are inmates with self-mandated authority-infamous for their violence within the prison, asked to have a workshop. Facilitators also dream of doing AVP workshops with each dormitory cell of the prison. Please help support Samir, Christian and the dedicated local facilitators who help make this important work possible.
Lyrics in English:
Turned a light on in the dark
A seed of hope for humanity
Prevention of violence with so much cruelty
With tools to calm the desire to do evil.
Alternative to Violence Program
AVP created to create coexistence
Because in this world evil has influence
So much bloodshed causes dementia.
There is a Power that you have the capacity to transform
Violent or destructive situations and behaviors,
In constructive experiences and cooperative behavior
In 1975 the program was born
between bars, founded to placate
so much violence.
With constructive workshops
Based on real life, without fictional content
Maybe I am not like Gandhi
But I do not like to see my brothers suffer
I do not compare myself to Mandela
But seeing so many crimes to my soul
Wrapped up in the delights of life
Blinded by the desire for revenge with no way out
With hate, resentment for humanity
But a light of hope clarifies my dark reality
With the learning of each workshop
Now I see the sunrise
Changing little by little, my bad routine
Using AVP tools I acquired.
Being a new person is not easy.
But fighting against violence you can get there.
It is not religion, but it makes the heart clean.
It is not a sect, only facts of daily life.
It is not obligation, just have the will
To be able to have another way of acting
Relate to people, respect,
Have empathy for others.
Understand that not everything is fixed
Reflect that life is
better when peace reigns.