Iraqi Civil Society Solidarity Initiative

The Iraqi Civil Society Solidarity Initiative (ICSSI) is dedicated to bringing together Iraqi and international civil societies through concrete actions to build together another Iraq, with peace and Human Rights for all.

The Alternatives to Violence Project (AVP)

Christian Peacemaker Teams (CPT)

At the end of November Christian Peacemaker Teams (CPT) facilitated Alternatives to Violence Project (AVP) workshop in collaboration with Ann J Ward (Peacebuilding advisor of Un ponte per…) which was organized by the University of Duhok Center for Peace and Conflict Resolution Studies. The workshop was funded by UNDP.

One of the participants sharing her feelings during feeling and faces exercise at the University of Duhok. Photo by: Ann J Ward.

Twenty three participants from different cultural, religious, ethnic backgrounds and ages took part in the workshop. Some of them were students of Duhok University and many from different local NGOs. They found the workshop to be life changing and interesting experience. One of the participants said: ” I do not have the desire to take part in any workshops because they can be very boring, but the Alternatives to Violence Project (AVP) workshop has been an amazing journey and life changing experience”

We spend a lot of time during the workshop on learning how to recognize our feelings which can be beneficial in solving problems and conflicts. Some participants said that it was very difficult to talk about their feelings due to cultural and traditional barriers. One of the young female participants said, “It’s very beautiful that I can share and I feel there is no harm.”

Ann J Ward ending the workshop at the University of Duhok. Photo by: Rezhiar Fakhir.

Throughout the workshop, the participants did many practical and experiential exercises to learn about listening, feelings and non- violent skills to respond to violence and anger. It also created a space for participants from both host community, Internally Displaced People (IDP) and Refugees to talk about integration, racism and daily challenges that they are facing in Kurdistan Region – Iraq. CPT will continue to facilitate more similar workshops in the upcoming weeks.

Alternative to Violence Project (AVP) is a workshop that teaches participants through real life experiences to resolve conflicts without violence and manipulation as well as it helps them to discover their internal causes for violence and anger.