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
travelling elsewhere with the message of Transforming Power and alternative
>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
occurred which some called miraculous. In quick order the movement spread
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
increased, eight countries being represented at the Ontario Conference.
The purpose of the International Network is to encourage the development of
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
shared around the world. An international newsletter has been proposed and,
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
work. These people from all walks of life, different racial and ethnic
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
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.)
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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