Friends of Hlekweni is supporting the introduction of the Alternatives to Violence Programme (AVP) into Zimbabwe. Founded in 2016 by a group of Bulawayo Quakers along with a number of graduates in Peace Studies from the Durban University of Technology*, Alternatives to Violence Zimbabwe (AVPZ) is offering training in non-violent communication to community members, teachers and school students.
Initially supported by South African experts in AVP and with funds provided by Southern African Quakers, AVPZ has now run many courses both in support of the Peaceful Schools Programme (q.v.) and for members of the wider community, including young people, NGO staff, church workers and women at risk of sexual violence.
Friends of Hlekweni is providing funding and support for the running of many of the AVP courses, which largely need to be provided at very low cost to the participants, given the very high levels of employment currently across the country. AVPZ aspires to develop the work further in the Bulawayo area and, if funding can be found, to extend it to the capital Harare and thence across the country.
*This course is led by Quaker Jeff Harris.