Greetings from AVP South Africa and a very happy new year to you all. Thank you very much for your contributions so far in helping us in the preparations for this years IG and we look forward to your continued enthusiasm and participation in building a truly creative and transformative space. The purpose of this communication is to continue the process of gaining your support in building an agenda that we all wish to see.
We also hope that you will support our desire to receive as many reports, research documents etc. in advance so that we are able to collate the information and documentation well before the IG. We do this in the belief that this will leave us with more time to build our relationships during the IG.
I attach to this email the registration form for the International Gathering. Please read this email before completing the registration form. AVPers are requested to register for the IG as soon as possible so that we can process your application and ensure that your expectations are met. PLEASE ASSIST US TO MEET THE DEADLINE FOR REGISTRATION OF 31ST MARCH 2006 AS THIS IMPACTS ON OUR VENUE BOOKING ETC.
Please register preferably using e-mail to Rosie Aubrey at firstname.lastname@example.org
or post to c/o Rosie Aubrey, International, PO Box 94144, Yeoville 2143, South Africa.
If you have any queries about the registration process please contact Rosie.
The registration forms provide for bursary applications for participants living in “less-affluent” countries. All bursaries are subject to our being successful in raising the necessary resources. Outside of South Africa, we are seeking funding for a total of only 15 national representatives and know of another 5 bursaries already provided for African AVPers so far. Applicants will require the support of their local and national AVP groups to be eligible. Please help us by ensuring that a maximum of two individuals apply from each of those “less-affluent” countries where AVP has a presence.
Language I am aware that we have a number of different languages within the AVP community and whilst South Africa has 11 official national languages, we are not fluent in Spanish, French or Portuguese. As with the previous gatherings we hope you will support our decision to use English as the core language, in the full knowledge that this will be a challenge for some AVPers. We hope that AVPers who are able to speak more than one language will offer their support in translation/interpreting if needed, and ask you to fill in the relevant section in the registration form.
Theme The month of September 2006 will mark 100 years from the date on which Gandhi, who lived in South Africa for some years, first used nonviolent civil disobedience on a mass scale. The Transvaal provincial government wanted to register the entire Indian population and passed what the Indians called the 'black act'. Gandhi advised, at a mass meeting in the Imperial Theatre in Johannesburg, that people practice nonviolent resistance by refusing to comply with the registration process.
In celebration of both Gandhi’s contribution to promoting nonviolent resistance. and the positive contribution made by AVP in the past 30 years, we hope that this year’s conference will be an opportunity for us to reflect on successes; and provide a space for us to look forward to where we go next, and how to consolidate the progress made. As a significant contributor to the work of AVP, our Gathering will mark the Ghandi centenary by holding seminars around Ghandi theory, including the likelihood of a guest lecture from Ela Ghandi (Satyagraha - In Pursuit of Truth).
Suggested Purpose of the Gathering:
To reinvigorate debate around our core values, guiding principles, aspirations and goals of AVP.
To promote the sharing of knowledge, skills and insights.
To recognise achievements and models of good practice.
To Vision the future direction and development of AVP International on the basis of critical reflection and an assessment of the key challenges and priorities faced by AVP today.
To explore ways that we can practically develop AVP by enhancing its delivery capacity throughout the world - particularly in less affluent communities.
To consider ways in which AVP can build significant financial sustainability for the future.
Suggested Activities for the Gathering:
AVPI Strategic Planning Working Group
In response to the rapid growth of demand for AVP around the world, and evaluations of previous IG’s there appears to be a need to explore and develop the structural capacity of the international network. This years gathering will create a space to discuss ways in which AVP international can encourage the development of the program in different countries. The objectives of the working group will be to facilitate three discussion groups at the IG to:
Working Group Discussion 1 – Our Aims
Reflect on AVPI’s development over the past 30 years.
Reinvigorate debate around our core values, guiding principles, aspirations and goals.
Vision the future direction and development of AVP International on the basis of critical reflection and an assessment of the key challenges and priorities faced by AVP today.
Working Group Discussion 2 – Our structures
Explore how we enhance our delivery capacity - particularly in less affluent and/or violent communities.
Develop ways that we can exchange information, resources and support each other’s development to promote the sharing of knowledge, skills and insights.
Explore ways in which AVPI might maintain a global database and offer administrative support, including the coordination of fundraising and financial management, to AVPI members.
To consider ways in which we can coordinate monitoring and evaluation so as to facilitate the improvement of programmes, structures and fundraising capacity
Working Group Discussion 3 – Our way forward
Finalise a strategic global action plan for AVP International
Sharing in AVP’s Diversity:
AVP Facilitators Workshops and Special Interest Groups (SIG’s). We hope to make this years gathering a space for creative engagement; a safe space to exchange our experiences and try out new ideas. We will create space to hold a series of thematic workshops on advanced AVP facilitating and new ways of working. SIG’s will also be arranged to provide opportunities for us to explore in more depth the different experiences across our diverse community. SIGs will cover a variety of project areas.
Some proposed topics could be;
The Partnership of AVP Nigeria, ICRC and the local Red Cross. Lessons learnt from the partnership.
AVP in schools, alternative ways of working.
AVP and Christian/Muslim relations.
Monitoring and evaluating our work.
We hope, in line with our AVP traditions, to draw on our broad experience and talent, and trust you will bring your ideas and suggestions to the gathering. Please submit your ideas for discussion papers and/or if you would like to take a lead in facilitating a workshop, special interest group, or assist in the preparations/facilitation of the working group etc., - please let us know on your registration form.
If you wish to facilitate a discussion group please send us the title and a short 500 word outline of the topic you propose exploring. This is to ensure that discussions are coordinated and can begin well ahead of the conference to enable those who are interested to arrive adequately informed and prepared. PLEASE ASSIST US BY ADHERING TO THE FINAL DATE FOR SUBMISSION OF PAPERS - 30TH MAY 2006.
We hope to use the gathering as an opportunity to document AVP’s progress thus far and are keen to collate national reports from each country where AVP is currently active. Please will national representatives take responsibility (in collaboration with AVP facilitators in the region) for producing a short written report on the progress of AVP in their country. These reports might cover current projects, numbers of facilitators trained, how many workshops have been held, where you are working, your structure, photos etc. These will then be used to create a display of information about processes initiated and the work you are doing. Whilst we hope to create a space for aural feedback about national and regional progress, we hope this time will not be used to simply read reports, but rather to answer questions and get into discussions around your work (made possible by people having read the country reports in advance). The report process will enable a greater exchange of knowledge between us, and also inform those who may be unable to attend the gathering. These documents will be collated and made available on the Phaphama and international websites. PLEASE ASSIST US BY ADHERING TO THE FINAL DATE FOR SUBMISSION OF REPORTS - 30TH MAY 2006.
Monitoring and Evaluation
We also seek to collate research, skills and methodologies around AVP and its impact on society. This is a topic that we hope will be covered in discussions during the gathering, but again we shall be grateful if you will provide papers and research reports in advance. This is a fundamental part of enabling the successful development of AVP and may also prove to be an invaluable resource for those seeking funding to sustain their work. PLEASE ASSIST US BY ADHERING TO THE FINAL DATE FOR SUBMISSION OF PAPERS - 30TH MAY 2006.
Many thanks for those who have sent details to update our records; we now have a very healthy database of contacts covering the countries below:
(Georgia), Colombia, Costa Rica, Croatia, Cuba, Dominican Republic, Ecuador,
Ethiopia, Germany, Haiti, Hong Kong, Hungary, India, Ireland, Kenya, Lithuania,
Macedonia, Mexico, Mozambique, Namibia, New Zealand, Nicaragua, Nigeria, Russia,
Rwanda, Slovenia, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, Tanzania, Tonga, Uganda, UK,
Ukraine, USA, Zimbabwe.
We still have gaps in some of our contact details, so please, if you have not yet emailed us your details, do make sure you do so in your registration form. Additionally, if you know that AVP is active in other parts of the world, not noted above, please let us know with, hopefully, some contact details. Our hope is that we will have at least two representatives from every country where AVP is active.
In order for us to be able to communicate effectively with you all in our preparations for the 2006 International Gathering, we have set up a mail-serve, which some of you have already joined.
PLEASE NOTE – We wish to send ALL FURTHER INFORMATION REGARDING THE 2006 IG THROUGH THE MAIL-SERVE - SO PLEASE, PLEASE, REGISTER IF YOU WISH TO RECEIVE INFORMATION ABOUT THE 2006 IG. To register for the AVPIG 2006 mail-serve please go to; http://groups.yahoo.com/group/AVPIG2006. If you would like to add other people to the conference mailing list, then simply direct them to the yahoo link where they will be able to register on the mail serve.
Fundraising A big thank you to all those who have already offered financial support in sponsoring representatives from “less-affluent” countries. We are doing all we can to raise the resources necessary to ensure that financial assistance is available for people to attend the gathering. However, we welcome any additional support that groups may be able to offer, especially in informing us of any possible financial sources that we/you may approach. We are very grateful to AVP USA, AVP Nigeria and African Great Lakes Initiative/Friends Peace Teams for their active participation in raising funds to enable participation by African AVPers, and AVP Aoterea who have raised funds to enable two AVPers from Aoterea/New Zealand to join the Gathering.
We have submitted funding proposals to a number of grantmakers around the world and are holding thumbs. Approached so far are;
Calpe Trust, The Samuel Rubin Foundation, the Carnegie Foundation, The Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation and the Charles Stuart Mott Foundation, the Joseph Rowntree Charitable Trust
If you know of likely funders or wish to support this effort by making a grant and/or writing proposals to funders please contact us. We have a ‘generic’ proposal and budget which we will gladly pass on to those of you who wish to help.
Pre/post Events We recognize that many AVPers will be coming to South Africa for the first time and may wish to spend further time in Southern Africa before and/or after the conference. We shall be happy to advise delegates in planning their trips. As the gathering will be taking place near the ‘City of Gold’ – Johannesburg - we will be organising a Soweto township tour on Saturday 26th August prior to the gathering. If this is something that may interest you, please have a look at the community-based tourism options we offer on our website at www.phaphama.org and be sure to highlight your interest on your registration form. Workshops We also hope to provide the opportunity for some delegates to see some of our work in South Africa, and will be able to provide for a small number of AVPers to co-facilitate workshops with South African teams after the gathering - both in Gauteng and Cape Town. We have already received a number of requests from people seeking to attend workshops. In order to ensure everyone has a chance to be involved in these scarce opportunities; we shall be grateful if you will complete the relevant sections of your registration form.
We have also had requests for workshops in other African countries and would like to hear from AVpers in other parts of Africa about the possibility of providing workshop opportunities in which international AVPers can participate and/or co-facilitate. If you wish to participate in such workshops or can offer a workshop opportunity that AVPers can join, please specify this in your registration form. Opportunities to participate in workshops will be very limited so we hope for your understanding if we are unable to accommodate your request.
I hope that we have managed to answer some of your queries and have given you a sense of how the gathering is developing. If you wish to support the preparation committee or alternatively have any questions about the conference, please contact me at email@example.com; we will be delighted to hear from you.
We discussed that there should be a platform for grievances, in order for the IG to be a space for true learning and growth, but were in agreement that this should be a process that starts before the IG, so that the gathering is not bogged down with our negative concerns, but with the solutions and learnings that flow from them.
- Fundraising/Low Attendance
We agreed that we would like to try and ensure at least two people can come from
every country where we have AVP facilitators active.