Background of AVP

AVP began in 1975 and has developed into a worldwide organization with chapters in over 30 countries. Our roots stem from a group of prisoners at Green Haven Prison (calling themselves 'The Think Tank'), who decided to try see how they could help people lead a more peaceful and productive life.

They started to develop a program for youth and asked a group of Quakers from the Quaker Project on Community Conflict, to help them devise a programme.

The Think Tank, in developing the programme, began to see in themselves and their communities this need to develop peoples' emotional intelligence. The Attica rebellion and this development group planted the seed, after which some of the Quakers, led by Larry Aspey (who had been doing work inside many New York State prisons) got together in Larry's living room and did the first AVP workshop.

It was Larry Apsey's vision, working well into his 90s, that brought the programme to where it is today. Larry came up with the term 'Transforming Power' which is the bedrock of AVP to this day.

It is from these roots that AVP has flourished into a world-wide non-profit organisation in 30 countries.

GarryR writes…

As a former prisoner, I think it important to give much credit to that group of inmates who in trying to better the lives of others, has bettered the lives of thousands for 27 years and [in] many different places in the world.
In Hong Kong AVP HK Foundation Ltd was established by Mrs Anne Marden MBE. JP and Thomas J Mulvey JP in 2002 .
AVP HK became a licensed charity from February 2003
Gerard Blitz was the 1st Coordinator and worked initially with staff of Hong Kong Family Welfare Society to test the programme in Hong Kong , before AVPHK was formally registered. Training was provided by experienced AVP facilitators from overseas .