The first workshop had participants from the faculty and staff roster of the UB High School and the Victoriano D. Tirol Advanced Learning Centre, both subsidiary institutions under the University of Bohol, where Kind Kins, one of our facilitators, is the Dean of Planning. They were all workers of the academe and had been used to very conventional educational methods – very different, as they discovered, to AVP methods.
Since the workshop was sponsored, in part, by the university, the participants were selected by the administration from a roster list. It was done this way so the limited slots would be best utilised. Those that were selected to attend were informed of the opportunity, which was regarded as one of the enhancement training programmes they were encouraged to attend during summer vacation. Many were glad to be there while some were obviously sceptical about why they were selected.
There were 24 participants, 19 females and 5 males, with a broad age range. There were teachers as young as 21 years and an older participant aged 55 years. We were confident, though, that the age gap would not be a hindrance since they were all colleagues and worked in the same field. This added to their comfort of being together and their ability to express their feelings openly and honestly.
In terms of participant responses to the workshop from their evaluations, they gave an overall score of 1.09. This was very affirming of the facilitators, especially those who graduated from the Training for Facilitator’s workshop in October 2013, because this was their first time in an AVP workshop facilitator role. For the majority, the highlights were the Transforming Power session and the principles of the Mandala. “I Messages” and “3 wishes” were noted by a few and many commented that The Transforming Power Mandala served as a catalyst for personal change in them and that it has helped them become less violent people. The materials were highly commended for being eye-opening and practical and for one participant the physical materials were environmentally-friendly. There was nothing deemed ‘unhelpful’ or ‘least helpful’ and the facilitation of the workshop received very positive responses.