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US, May 2017 • AVP/USA National Gathering

Jamuna Shrestha’s impressions of the
AVP-USA National Gathering in Boston!

In Nepal, AVP is not yet able to do a National Gathering. So, especially as the current President of AVP-Nepal, I gained lots of experiences and ideas from the AVP-USA National Gathering.

First I liked the theme: “Journey of Change: Transforming ourselves and our communities as we transform conflicts.” Life is not always easy to live, but the opportunity to live is a blessing beyond comprehension. In the process of living we face struggles many of which cause us to suffer and to experience pain. Many people suffer in personal struggles, while others suffer as they watch their loved ones in pain.

Before dinner playing music and singing songs on the porch at the AVP USA national gathering in Boston May 2017

I liked the public sessions of Adam J. Foss, a former Harvard Juvenile Justice Advisor Committee member and a visiting fellow at Harvard Law school. As a fierce advocate for criminal justice reform he champions the role of the prosecutor in ending mass incarceration. He shared about how AVP does work in his life and this society. His message was especially relevant to AVPers. I highly appreciated the opportunity to after his message to gather with AVPers from all over the world, to share the universal impact of AVP for stopping violence everywhere.

Margaret Lechner and I offered a 90-minute session on Trauma, Grounding and Resilience. We did two major activities, Core Self and Storytelling with Good Companions. We filled the room with 30 participants and four people had to leave because there was not enough space in the room. Participants enjoyed it and realized or remembered the importance of self care in our lives. Some of them wanted to participate again and asked who to contact for more activities like this. One participant took my Trauma Healing manual, and we referred them to the education committee for more manuals. During the session participants were emotional. They practiced sharing stories following the storytelling protocol.

The gathering motivated and inspired me to focus my journey in AVP Nepal.


A special added value of this event was the opportunity to network with other AVPers from around the world, which is an exceptional opportunity for horizontal exchange of experiences, understanding and direction. I perceive this also as an occasion to practice in the richness of multiple languages, and to support young AVP facilitators to join our common goal for a less violent, more peaceful world.

Meeting secretary of AVP International Committee, Chris Campbell.


Meeting with the President of AVP International Committee, Bronwen Hillman and her daughter.