Alternatives to Violence Program

Alternatives to Violence Program (AVP) is a training program enabling participants to deal with potentially violent situations in new and creative ways. Workshops are delivered by our trained facilitators and are experiential (not based on lectures).

Its purpose is to help teach ways to
•    manage strong feelings such as anger and fear
•    deal more effectively with risk and threatening situations
•    build good relationships with other people
•    communicate constructively in difficult situations
•    recognize the conflict management skills you already have
•    be true to yourself while respecting other people
•    understand why conflict happens
•    approach conflict in a more creative and less reactive manner

RolePlay in an AVP Advanced Workshop 2017
•    consider your own relationship to systems of violence”





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AVP Advanced Level Workshop Mid August 2018

For people who have completed an Alternatives to Violence Program Basic Workshop, we will conduct an Alternatives to Violence Program (AVP) Advanced Workshop at PIASS Huye Campus from Friday, August 10, 14:00 (2 pm) to Sunday, August 12, 2018, 16:00 (4 pm).  Participation in at least one AVP Advanced Workshop is necessary for those who would like to join a Training of AVP Facilitators (ToF), which is planning to take place later this year.



AVP Advanced Level Workshop held May 29-31, 2018

peaCandle.jpgThe Alternatives to Violence Project (AVP) Advanced Level Workshop, PIASS, Huye Campus, May 29 – 31, 2018, was organized by the Center for Research and Action towards Sustainable Peace and Development (CRASPD) at the Protestant Institute of Arts and Social Sciences (PIASS) Faculty of Development Studies, in collaboration with giz Civil Peace Service (ZFD) Rwanda. As usual for Alternatives to Violence Program Advanced Workshops, the team had invited people persons who had completed an AVP Basic Level Workshop, either at PIASS or somewhere else.  The team of AVP Facilitators was composed of a Lecturer at PIASS, a visiting facilitator from AVP Kenya, and the  International  Peace Advisor of giz Civil Peace Service based at CRASPD/ PIASS. 9 women and 10 men, 11 of them students at PIASS, and the others y coming from NGOs or institutions, actively participated.  In contrast to the set program of a Basic Level Workshop, focusTopicConsProcessparticipants, in a consensus decision making exercise, chose the topic t to focus on during the 3 day workshop. This time, the group selected the focus topic  “How do we cope with a conflict with people who are close to us, especially in family, without losing self-respect or harming/ hurting them?” In different gathering, practical exercises and role plays in the brokenSquares_1.jpgapproach of the “Theater of the Oppressed”, the group explored the topic and found some answers to their questions and had the opportunities to practice ways to de-escalate conflict situations and empathize with themselves and others to nonviolently deal with them. On the last day, small groups drew their vision of how harmonious relationships with those who are close to us, may look like.



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Alternatives to Violence Program (AVP) Workshop at PIASS with participants from six civil society organizations in March 2018.

AVP is a training program enabling participants to deal with potentially violent situations in a new, positive, and creative way (  The AVP Basic Level workshop in March 2018 brought together 8 male and 8 female participants, 8 of them Rwandan and international students of PIASS from the Faculty of Development Studies BA program of Peace & Conflict Studies and BA program for Rural & Community Development, and from the Faculty of Theology. The other 8 participants came from six civil society organizations in Rwanda and DRC.  The team would like to express their gratitude for the support without which the workshop could not have been organized, from the Japanese mission support group, as well as Dr. Kazuyuki and Floriane Niyungeko from the Centre for Research & Action towards Sustainable Peace & Development (CRASPD) of PIASS.


AVP Basic Level Workshop held in June 2017

In cooperation with CRASPD, the Alternatives to Violence Program (AVP), conducted the second Basic Workshop this year, with 18 participants June 9 – 11, 2017 and the second Advanced Workshop this year August 16-18, 2017, with 11 participants, at PIASS Huye, bringing together mixed groups of students, graduates of PIASS and staff from NGOs.

In this Advanced Workshop, participants chose “Strengthening our use of skills in nonviolent communication to deal with conflict and anger”.  Exciting exercises were followed by intense sharing of experiences about how transforming power can work through us to find nonviolent ways for conflict resolution. Groups practiced how we can express ourselves honestly, sharing what happened to us without mixing in judgement or blame, what we feel and need and what we would like “the other” to do or say next and how we can understand the feelings and needs behind a ‘violent’ message and give the other person empathy instead of ‘firing back’.

Now, the team is planning to hold a Training of Facilitators mid October, and we hope that, for the new year, we will have teams of motivated and skilled facilitators to help us conduct more AVP workshops at PIASS and start expanding the program to their communities.

Alternatives to Violence Program Basic Workshop January 15-17, 2018 at PIASS

The first 2018 Alternatives to Violence Program Basic Workshop will take place at PIASS from Monday, January 15 to Wednesday, January 17, and the team is looking forward to welcome to introduce a group of new people to this amazing program!



Alternatives to Violence Project (AVP) Training of  16 NgroupPH_AVP_ToF_2017ew Facilitators

On October 18, 2017, CRASPD, in collaboration with giz Civil Peace Service (CPS) Rwanda and the Alternatives to Violence Program (AVP) Rwanda,  concluded a jointly organized 3 day Training of AVP Facilitators.


16 new AVP Learning  Facilitators graduated, 9 of them male and 7 female; 3 of them come from Burundi, 6 from DRC, and 7 from Rwanda. 2 are residents of Kigeme Refugee Camp, 4 work for Nongovernmental Organizations (Child Fund Rwanda, Never Again Rwanda, Family Circles Love Lab Organization, ARCT Ruhuka), and one graduate is working for a government institution. We believe that the new AVP Facilitators will not only join teams at PIASS and with AVP Rwanda to take the Alternatives to Violence Program further here, but also extend it to their communities and to other Countries in the Region and beyond.

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