The Alternatives to Violence Project (AVP) is a network of independent not-for-profit grass-roots volunteer groups offering experiential workshops on creative conflict transformation in prisons, schools, and the wider community. The Help Increase the Peace (HIP) Program is an adaptation of AVP for schools.
These workshops empower individuals to liberate themselves and others from the burden of violence. The fundamental belief of AVP is that there is a power for peace and good in everyone, and that this power has the ability to transform violence. AVP builds on a spiritual basis of respecting and caring for self and others.
Some key features of workshops:
– Not religious, but may be spiritual.
– Not therapy, but may be healing.
– Teamwork: All participants are teachers and learners. There is always a team of several facilitators of diverse background and life experience, with shared leadership and no ‘guru’.
– Experiential and participatory rather than a theoretical focus.
– Voluntarism. No one participates on a mandated basis, and the facilitators are unpaid volunteers.
– A holistic focus, recognising the spiritual dimension of the person, rather than a behavioristic or rigidly rule-governed focus.
– Fun and laughter is an integral part of the workshop process.
– Feedback throughout the workshop, with session evaluation and activity debriefing.