AVP (Alternatives to Violence Project) gives practical training that helps people to deal with potentially violent situations in new and creative ways. The method was originally developed by Quakers in the 1970s in the USA for use in prison work. The techniques are applicable to many different situations and contexts, and AVP is now an international volunteer movement active in more than 60 countries. FHM funds essential operating costs for AVP work in Ukraine and Russia.
AVP Ukraine is run by a group of volunteers (many of them psychologists) who are based in Odessa and Kharkiv and operate in various locations around the country. In 2014 and 2015 they worked extensively with the large numbers of internally displaced people fleeing from the conflict zone in Eastern Ukraine. More recently these refugees have begun to integrate into local communities, and so AVP can no longer target them as a group to work with. Instead they are continuing their usual programme of workshops with a wide variety of participants.
AVP training in Ukraine is offered to psychologists, teachers and social workers in schools
and higher education institutions; students; and employees and volunteers working in social organisations. Another strand of work is with inmates of young offender institutions. The current project aims to run around ten one- or two-day workshops during the year with a total of 400 participants.
AVP work in Russia has been quiescent for several years but has recently started again in Moscow. The current project plans to hold four workshops to reach a total of 40 to 50 people. FHM is funding the use of an online event booking service to advertise the work and attract participants.
The photo is from an AVP workshop at a school in Kharkiv in November 2018