International Network

The following article was written for the British "Friend". Since it is a

general summary of the International Network, I thought it might be of

interest to the wider AVP family.




As this is being written in August, 1997, the first AVP workshops are being

held in Cuba. Also two people from Japan are experiencing their first AVP


workshops in the USA in the expectation of taking the programme to their



In 1990 when the first International Conference was held in the USA, there

were very few in attendance from countries outside the USA. AVP had just


established in Canada and some trained facilitators were considering the

possibility of

travelling elsewhere with the message of Transforming Power and alternative

non-violent lifestyles.


>From its humble beginnings in a New York State prison in 1975 until early

in 1990, AVP was mainly confined to the eastern states of the USA. Then

the explosion

occurred which some called miraculous. In quick order the movement spread

until to-day

it is operating in Australia, Aotearoa (New Zealand), East and South

Africa, Canada, Central

America, Ireland, India, Germany, Hungary, Russia, Tonga and the United

Kingdom as well as

throughout the USA. In a few of these countries the programme has only

just begun, the

process being slow enough to ensure the quality of the training, since the


group eventually becomes autonomous.


Every two years since 1990, an International Conference has been held; the

last one being

located in Ontario, Canada. At each succeeding event the global

representation has

increased, eight countries being represented at the Ontario Conference.


The purpose of the International Network is to encourage the development of

the programme

internationally by supporting each other, sharing information and offering

support in maintaining

the integrity of AVP. While the Network is independent of any national

organization, it has been

supported administratively by AVP-Canada.


An International Directory of AVP National organizations and contacts has

been maintained and is ever expanding. There are now several national

newsletters being

shared around the world. An international newsletter has been proposed and,

hopefully, the

first issue will appear soon.


Translations of the Basic Manual continue to increase. Presently they are

in Spanish, German, Hungarian and partially in Russian.


While no statistics are available as yet, there are now hundreds of

volunteer facilitators working on AVP programmes throughout the world.

Thousands of participants

in prisons, communities and schools have benefitted and continue to benefit

from this

work. These people from all walks of life, different racial and ethnic

origins and

holding different faiths or professing none, have been challenged to seek

nonviolent ways of solving

conflict and forming viable communities. All this largely by word of

mouth and with

practically nothing being written about it.


"Transforming Power is the basis of AVP, the power of love and truth

within. This must become

active and a practical way of life if violence is to be overcome. How can

the personal practice of

Transforming Power grow into an international movement? The concern of

individuals expresses

itself in small groups; many such groups spring up in all walks of life

and express their collective concerns, and these groups in turn combine

into larger groups, until

finally an international centre evolves."

( L. S. Apsey

- Transforming Power for Peace.)



Bill McMechan

Convenor, International Network.



Bill & Rosemarie McMechan

Alternatives to Violence Project - Canada

RR #2 Hastings, Ontario K0L 1Y0

Tel/ fax: (705) 696-2153



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