Peacebuilding en Las Américas

Virtual AVP Workshops: Creating Community/Improving Health

by Monica Maher 

AVP online continued to strengthen community nationally and transnationally. Facilitators from throughout the region began the seventh and eighth online Basic in Spanish, and finished three Advanced workshops on assertive communication and forgiveness.

Two Central American teams simultaneously co-facilitated two Advanced workshops for 24 participants from eight countries: Argentina, Brazil, Colombia, El Salvador, Ecuador, Guatemala, Honduras and Panama. Participants stated the workshop was “an immense contribution” to their lives, affirming the online workshops have “helped their mental and spiritual health and also reduced levels of violence and stress.“

In Colombia, the Franciscans Sisters very successfully completed the online Advanced with 14 participants from throughout Colombia; participants expressed much gratitude for the environment of “great confidence and trust,“ “spontaneity and solidarity” which allowed for a profound process of “inner liberation and inner healing,” “empowerment“ and collective bonding. According to one participant, the workshop cultivated “certainty that we can create spaces of fellowship, group connections that favor peaceful and sane co-existence.“ Another affirmed that the positive changes can be felt at home: “my family participates much more in dialogue in order to know and express how they feel.“

One of the next goals is to begin online AVP workshops on Trauma Healing and Overcoming Domestic Violence.