In the months of February and March, invited by the NGO PLAN International - Paraguay, AVP workshops were held with people who work in the same organization, and who mostly carry out activities with children and adolescents in the country.
AVP was introduced by facilitators from Mexico and Brazil.
In total, there were 4 basic workshops, 2 second level workshops and a training for facilitators. More than 80 people participated and in the end 18 people did the training. 3 of them already participated as apprentices.
There is a lot of desire on the part of the apprentices to continue the process in Paraguay and they have already started planning to continue the process.
Experienced facilitators will be needed and eager to help build that beautiful process in Paraguay!
In April of 2018, AVP-California held our first-ever large-scale public fundraiser: A Hero’s Journey 5K Run/Walk (HJR). Hosting an event of this scale required a lot more preparation and promotion than the small workshops so many of us are familiar with planning, and there were many ups and downs along the way. We worried about sponsors, sign-ups, permits, and a million other small details. When race day came, however, our fears were laid to rest: 300 runners showed up, and we raised enough money to cover our costs and then some.
Due to the success of the first HJR, we’ve decided to bring our fundraiser back for another year, in what will hopefully become a yearly tradition. On April 20th, 2019, AVP-California will be hosting our 2nd Hero’s Journey Run, now with a slight tweak on the theme: this year, we’ll be focusing on peace heroes. In support of AVP’s mission to build more peaceful communities, we are asking our runners to show up channeling those heroes that historically have fought for peace worldwide.
We’re inviting the global AVP community to participate in our event. Don’t live in California? No problem! You can support our work online by becoming a virtual runner here: https://register.chronotrack.com/r/42760
We are pleased to announce that 20 participants in Jordan have completed the Basic and Advanced workshops, 3 days each workshop. We anticipate The same number for the T4F workshop which will begin On April 19. We will keep you posted. The facilitators for these workshops are Grazyna Bonati (England), Madlein Abuamrieh (Jordan), Thom McCue(USA), Lydia McCloskey(USA).
The Alternatives to Violence - Palestine plans on initiating its AVP work in the Gaza Strip and West Bank in 2018. Dr. Mustafa ElHawi is the coordinator of the program. Those of us who were at the Gathering in Kathmandu remember him, I am sure. I am on the Board of Directors. We are submitting funding proposals. The local AVP council here in Pennsylvania has developed an introduction packet that we will use as part our funding proposals. Anyone interest in looking at this packet, please contact me at email@example.com.
It was Day Two of a Basic Workshop that I recently co-facilitated. We had an open and fun-loving group of about sixteen people. It was my turn to refer to where we were on the map with respect to our Building Blocks and the ground that we’d covered to get here. A more quiet member of the group asked:
What is Transforming Power?
My response then was to refer to the mandala and say that TP is at the heart of our practice and that it is activated when the other parts of the mandala are practiced. In other words, I said, when we practice ‘Respect for Self’ for example, or ‘Think before Reacting’, we awaken or activate the power of transforming a situation and indeed ourselves.
Later on, well after the workshop, I reflected on my response and indeed my understanding of TP.
As I often share in my Meditation Circles and classes and the Meditation – based workshops that I run, Awareness or Presence is itself transformational. In a moment of Awareness/Presence, we by-pass the discursive mind and its judgmental and reactive habits.
The state of non-judgment is the state of Love/Awareness/Truth. And so, the momentary suspension of our tendency to judge/react returns us to our natural state of Love and the response thereof is a loving, non-violent response.
So, it occurred to me that ‘Be Present/Presence’ or ‘Be Aware/Awareness’ could be one of the petals of the mandala. Certainly for me, this is by far the most powerful doorway to TP.
On the other hand, TP may be AVP's term for Presence/Awareness!