PAG - Projekt Alternativen zur Gewalt.
This is the name of AVP Germany which came into being early 1994. It has
become a healthy, growing family.
AVP was founded in the United States in 1975. A group of Quaker prison
visitors were asked by inmates to help them find a way out of the circle of
violence that had got them behind the bars. The programme has steadily
grown and spread over many countries.
It is not a religious programme, nor is it therapy. It is based on the
belief that every person has the power to find a peaceful solution for a
conflict deep inside. The fundamental idea of PAG/AVP is that everyone has
the option, in a conflictual situation, to choose the constructive path. In
choosing the constructive path, he or she can encounter what we call
‘Transforming Power’. To prepare for ‘Transforming Power’ to happen,
PAG/AVP works in the field of affirmation, communication and cooperation
before turning to conflict resolution. Our workshops are experiential
rather than in any way academic. We offer a wide range of exercises and do
role plays. All this is interspersed with lively, sometimes even silly
games. There is a good mix of thought and laughter in our courses. Sharing
facilitation among several trainers is part of the programme and adds to
the open variety within any course.
The full PAG/AVP programme consists of a Basic course, an Advanced one,
which chooses its own topic for deeper work, followed -for some- by the
Training for Trainers-to-be. Among PAG/AVP there are no ‘specialists’ and
no experts. A freshly trained trainer will work for some time with more
experienced trainers. All trainers work on a voluntary basis, getting only
their expenses refunded. Normally a course will take place over the
weekend, Friday night until Sunday afternoon.
The first Basic Workshop in Germany took place early 1994 and was
facilitated by five trainers who had their own training in the U.S., Canada
and Britain. By the end of that year we had the first 12 people who had
done all three courses, thus being able to get apprenticed with experienced
trainers, initially for Basic courses, later on for advanced and for
Since PAG was jointly fostered by Nothelfergemeinschaft der Freunde an the
Peace Committee of the German Quakers, most courses took place in the
Friends’ meeting place in Bad Pyrmont, the center of the German Friends.
Other courses were offered to prison workers, and prison volunteer workers.
We also started a series of courses in Freiburg, in the south of Germany.
The first workshop within a prison took place in Hamburg Fuhlsbüttel in
October 1995. Meanwhile there has been the whole set of courses, and we had
several courses with inmate co-trainers. Since early 1996 we also run
courses in Hanover prison.
To get involved with PAG, please contact Bernhard Klinghammer, Kaliweg 31,
D-30952 Ronnenberg, Germany (Fax: +49 5109 7695) for a list of upcoming
courses. If you liked the Basic workshop, you are invited to come to
advanced courses and, possibly, the Training for Trainers workshop.
Welcome to PAG/AVP!
Ute Caspers, Projekt Alternativen zur Gewalt, Germany.
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