Asia West Pacific

A Refresher for Manila Team

By: Alma “Kins” Aparece

On February 22, 2020, eleven AVP facilitators, participants, and friends gathered together at the De La Salle University Center for LaSallian Spirituality to attend an Alternatives to Violence Project (AVP) refresher.  It was held from 9:00 AM till 4:00 PM. The refresher was attended by secondary school teachers, university lecturers and non-teaching staff, university administrator, youth advocates, and young professionals. Cyril, Frence and Kins facilitated.

Among the points discussed and shared by the participants during the refresher were: 

  •     How our views and actions in daily life changed after we had AVP workshops and practice sessions. Now, it’s time to be refreshed once more.
  •     Our work is to remain in our core self. This is transforming power.
  •     Peace means saying no to violence and opening up to the value of life.  We can stand up against violence and at the same time embrace life’s transforming power, a power that creates.
  •     It is good to practice the tools and skills with others.
  •     We use the tools daily. Sometimes we may fall short, but life is very dynamic!
  •     To practice peace, we need good companions. In this way, we can always practice.

Elirie shared that the refresher was very helpful. “Personally it brought me back to my direction in terms of having and living a peaceful life. In my work right now it’s quite tough to practice peace and so it is good to be reminded to stay in my core self and trust in the transforming power.”

AVP was introduced in Luzon in 2014 through a series of workshops. Now it is practiced in four higher education institutions, in the Philippines’ student movements, and in communities in three different cities.