AVP – Alternatives to Violence Project

AVP is an experiential programme that offers people a chance to change and gain insights into their way of communicating with others. As such, it has existed in Bosnia and Herzegovina since 2004.

The mission of the alternatives to violence programme is oriented on empowerment and encouraging people to learn non-violent methods of communication, primarily through personal affirmation, respect for others, team-building, co-operation and trust. It is based and developed on the real life experiences of participants by encouraging each one of them to positively change themselves and the world.

AVP is intensive experiential learning through two-day workshops covering three levels: basic, advanced (second level) and training for trainers. In addition, it also offers a unique approach to learning, through which participants can have fun, question, re-examine and learn!

In line with this, the planned activities and workshop approach is adjusted to the age groups (children, adolescents and adults) using AVP techniques, gestalt experiments and cognitive-behavioural techniques.

The basic workshop primarily focuses on conflict resolution skills. Using experience and a step by step process, the workshop focuses on the following:

  • Affirmation – developing self-esteem and trust;
  • Communication – improving listening skills and assertive methods of expression; and
  • Team-building and co-operation – developing co-operative attitudes which avoid competition and related conflicts.

The second level workshop is directed at processes that lie behind violence. The topics covered are:

  • Fear – reveals hidden fears that usually lie behind anger, hatred or prejudice;
  • Anger – results in the better understanding of personal situations that cause anger;
  • Communication – develops listening, expression and communication skills in tense situations;
  • Prejudice awareness – awareness-raising on stereotypes and prejudices in relationships;
  • Power and infirmity – helps individuals understand the structure of power and enables them to establish contact with their inner power; and
  • Forgiveness – builds the foundation for genuine reconciliation and releasing guilt.

Team-building workshops can be combined with similar patterns that can occur between the teams such as skills in non-violent communication and anger.

The training for trainers focuses on team-building and leadership skills. The work plan includes:

  • Group process leadership skills – leadership styles, planning experiential learning and exercise development;
  • Team leadership methods – focuses on development of team contracts and cooperative leadership styles; and
  • Practical sessions – offers training in planning, presentation, development and evaluation of the whole workshop.

In addition to the above-mentioned levels, AVP training can be modified to particular themes, depending on personal and group/team needs.

Examples of previous experience based on groups and themes: Communication and team building (employees of businesses and organisations); Communication and listening skills (group of physicians); The men-women relations and violence against women (beneficiaries of a non-governmental women’s organisation); Facing stereotypes and prejudice (secondary school students from Sarajevo and East Sarajevo); Fear/Anger/Forgiveness (beneficiaries of a non-governmental organisation); Basic level workshops for students of psychology, pedagogy, social work and law; Basic, advanced and training of trainers with people undergoing addiction treatment.

The trainings are facilitated by certified AVP trainers, gestalt and KBT therapists.

For more information please contact us via phone
+387 61 530 530.


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