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“I Still Believe There is Good in All People”: An Evaluation of the Alternatives to Violence Project in Rwanda

Niyongabo, Adrien
June 4, 2015

Source: (2003) African Great Lakes Initiative

“The Alternative to Violence Project (AVP) began in 1975, when a group of inmates near New York city asked a local Quaker group to provide them with non-violence training. Highly experiential in nature, the workshop encourages participants to recognize that they can best find their own answers to the conflicts they encounter. A three-day workshop focuses on the following themes: Affirmation of ourselves and others, Co-operation, Community skills, Communication, and Conflict resolution….With my almost two years involvement in AVP as facilitator, I have been discovering, for myself how the program is capable of guiding one in his inner change especially in time of conflicts. Sitting beside and listening to those who shared during the interview, that fact brought more light and excitement to my commitment to AVP. The deep transformations that occurred in people’s minds and hearts were revealed through out their ways of thinking, acting and believing as they expressed themselves. They were eager to testify to how many people have greatly benefited from a humble and simple program such as AVP, carried by dedicated facilitators. A few readers of the report may feel that some of the quotes were to please the interviewers but it should be known that there were many more emotions that can not be put on the paper but which further convinced me of the truthfulness of the stories.” (excerpt)


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