Sunday 2 April, at Protestant Institute of Arts and Social Sciences (PIASS), the community of 26 Alternatives to Violence Program (AVP) facilitators completed a 3days (31 March – 2 April, 2023) facilitators’ gathering organized by PIASS through its Center for Research and Action towards Sustainable Peace and Development (CRASPD).

In this gathering, participants refreshed their facilitation skills, shared experiences, and celebrating different achievements since the time they have completed their training of facilitators.  Participants celebrated the journey they have gone from the AVP Basic Level workshop to the Training of Facilitators (ToF), and they embraced the fact that they are active facilitators of this program in the region. They also celebrated the presence of our Vice Chancellor Prof. Dr. Penine Uwimbabazi who is herself an AVP facilitator & one of the pioneers started this program in PIASS.

Alternatives to Violence Program (AVP) was introduced in PIASS in 2013, with the purpose of equipping Peace Students with practical skills on how to deal with conflicts especially in finding other alternatives other than violence. It also had the objective of creating a network of young generation who were willing to build peace in the Great Lakes Region.

After discovering that this program is useful not only to peace students but also to the rest of the PIASS Community, it was expanded and become more inclusive, and CRASPD started to organize several workshops (basics to ToFs) and invite as many people as possible. So far, more than 200 PIASS students, lecturers and NGO staff from Rwanda and the region have benefited from this program. Among those trained people, 96 of them become facilitators and they are organizing AVP workshops in their respective communities.