Peacebuilding en Las Américas

Colombian AVP Participants Tell about Their Experiences

“Something that has helped me in my daily life has been to recognize  Transforming Power since before I was a person who did not think before reacting and then [I would] regret what I did or saw the negative aspects of others and of myself and I would hurt myself with bad words. But nowadays I discovered Transforming Power in myself which has made me a great person, one who sees beyond the way of being of others. The Listening Exercise was also very important because it helped me to listen to a person through dialogue. ” –   Judicious Jenifer, 14 years old


“After the workshop, when I got home, my brothers behaved very badly but I was patient with them, patience, bearing in my mind Transforming Power–I acted in a wise way and without violence. They were surprised by my calm demeanor and told me I was going crazy, now, the environment has changed in my house, There’s more harmony ” – Just Jesús D, 18 years old


“One day my mother was tense, very tired, angry and stressed out because she had to do all the cleaning and dishwashing. She started screaming at me because I had not cooked dinner on time. At that time I did not answer, I remained silent and started to let Transforming Power work in me, putting myself in the shoes of my mother, and  I started the food with joy. Then my mom stared at me because I had not replied as I sometimes used to. ”   – Gracious Lisa, 20 years old


“Starting this year, 2012, difficulties in my marriage began with my husband’s infidelity. I was very hurt, and thought about attacking him, or threatening his life, and how I could prevent our children seeing  everything bad I thought about him. After a while I got the invitation to an AVP Basic workshop and at the end of the workshop, just that day, my husband came back. When I saw him, I held back my anger and painstakingly managed to act in accord with Transforming Power—I invited him to talk with me, and  for the first time I kept silent and listened … he was surprised because he knew that I was a violent woman and all he could say was, ‘What’s happened, you’re different.’” –  Noble Norcy, 45 years old

“After the workshop and exercise on “I-Messages”, I decided to try the exercise with some of my colleagues during  lunch time, but the [real] test was when I got home—[when] I got home, I heard a complaint regarding the misbehavior of my oldest daughter (10 years old). Everyone in the house was waiting to find out if I would punish her physically but when they told me what happened: I decided to take a deep breath, count to 10 while facing my daughter and with a soft voice (something hard for me) I went to her and helped her see what was bad about her behavior. Once finished, I saw wonder in the others’ faces with and heard comments like “Look, she did what they taught her.” The truth is that I loved to see the impact of the “I-Messages” because they are something that is not [widely] practiced and they draw attention.” – Very Cheerful Mary, 40 years old

“Once when my husband told me something I did not like because he was being unfair to me, I responded very angrily and  aggressively, but then I thought  again and I wondered to myself what was going on? That’s not what I’m learning in AVP. Then I proceeded to apologize considering the steps to make an apology from one of the exercises: acknowledging my error, not justify, and I also took the time to tell how much I love him, I gave him a kiss and a hug to calm the anger and annoyance he felt at the time- Simple Shirley, 33 years old

“Experiences in AVP were something very special for me and I learned about Transforming Power, how to take care of myself and respect others, learned to seek nonviolent solutions and hope for the best in people.” – Friendly Ayorli, 33 years old