HIPP's Philosophy and Bibliography

Philosophy and Bibliography of HIPP

(Help Increase the Peace Project)


People have discovered that the old idea of vengeance, as expressed by Desmond Tutu in “an eye for an eye will eventually make everybody blind” does not work.  In the words of a local community leader: “Violence has not worked, so let’s see what non-violent conflict resolution can do!”

Over the last 25 years, the ideas of non-violent conflict resolution have gradually grown in acceptance.  It has been a slow evolution because conflict resolution requires a new way of thinking about dealing with conflict – and changing old ways of behaving and trying something new is risky.

Perhaps the key concept of non-violent conflict resolution is that conflict is a natural part of all our relationships and life situations, and it is what we do with this conflict or problem which can create a positive or negative outcome.  Conflict, in its simplest terms, can be defined as a disagreement or misunderstanding between people.  Our difficulty with conflict comes from attitudes we have learned from our society – that conflict is bad; that there is only one way to deal with conflict – one person has to lose in order for another to win.  Non-violent conflict resolution teaches us that we have a choice to escalate or de-escalate the situation and to actively seek a solution, which meets the needs of individuals, groups, countries, etc.  We aim for a win/win resolution, a completely different attitude from the competitive win/lose process, which leaves feelings of anger, resentment, and low self-esteem in the loser.  In order to find a win/win solution in a conflict we need to understand our own needs and communicate them clearly as well as listen to and perceive the needs of the other person.

While our clients have not seen their role as fixing all the ills of our society, the fact remains that they have been faced with the results of the violence in our society.  Violence interferes with their missions.  In the beginning, much of the inclination to try conflict resolution, mediation, management, etc., developed in the sole context of discipline.  This outlook tended to create “peace-meal” approaches, which did not engage or empower people – neither young people nor staff.  However, as conflict resolution programmes such as the Alternatives to Violence Project, the Help Increase the Peace Whole School Programme, the New York Community School 15 Programme, the Boston Programme, and the Community Board Programme of San Francisco developed as whole institution efforts, it has become clear that a holistic approach is required.

Society tends to respond to the violence of its youth by clamping down on rules or adding new rules, without addressing the needs of young people.  Belonging is one of the most fundamental needs of all human beings.  Often, youth violence is equated with gang activity, even though it may be completely unrelated.  Youth belong to gangs because gangs meet real social needs for both a sense of belonging and sometimes for protection.  Youth often use violence and behaviour that is labelled anti-social or criminal, in gangs or not, to meet those same social needs in a society that makes very little room for them to use the skills they have, and often demands skill they have not had the opportunity to learn or develop.

So we asked ourselves, “How can kids get out of this violent cycle and what do they need.”  We feel young people need opportunities to be part of a caring community in which they can develop a positive sense of self, develop communication skills, and learn to work together to resolve their own conflicts, and deal with their own issues.  Several approaches and ideas have influenced our work.  In particular, the HIP project staff and volunteers have been profoundly inspired by their experience with the Alternatives to Violence Project (AVP).  This programme was started by the Quakers in 1975, in the New York State prison system at the request of the Greenhaven Prison inmates who felt a need for non-violence training.  AVP gave HIPP the impetus to explore its school programme.  Children’s Creative Response to Conflict, an important influence, was a pioneer in the need to look at conflict resolution as a systemic process for change, including components of affirmation, communication, co-operation and problem solving.  Another influence was John Holt’s idea that the learner needs to feel significant and recognised, and that his/her interests serve as the source of learning, for one can move out into the world only from where one is in it.  Similarly, Paulo Freire’s idea of literacy as a process by which people can become capable of acting critically and positively on the world which has shaped them, gave us important insights into the process for change and empowerment.

Our approach is holistic and we seek to change the patterns of behaviour, which keep young people in conflict.  We mostly work with 12 year-olds onward, and the community developed continues to grow throughout the period of training and after.

Of the many time frames suitable for conflict resolution training, the HIP Project has found the cumulative effect of a two-day workshop a powerful process for change.  In the course of the two days, we weave together experiences (which we call building blocks) in affirmation, communication, co-operation, community building, appreciating differences, prejudice reduction, dealing with feelings, and resolving conflicts and many other issues that may be high on the list of participant concerns.  Much emphasis is placed on effective communication, both listening and expressive skills.

At the heart of the programme is interpersonal conflict resolution.  Interpersonal skills are emphasised because most of conflicts are with each other, the staff at training institutions, and parents.  Through experiences in small groups and one-to-one interactions, the students acquire a sense of community and trust.  The workshop helps participants to get in touch with their capabilities and gives them an opportunity to experience empowerment in role-plays of conflicts they face in their lives.


The workshops are a safe place to brainstorm ideas and try new ways.  But the new skills learned need a receptive environment, so we also seek to create a new positive climate for change in centres where these young people are living.  To this end, it is important to include staff (and where possible management) in the training process.  Not only does the conflict resolution workshop experience help staff and students learn to see each other as human beings, but the shared experience and the commonality of the conflict resolution language can knit the organisation into a caring community.

Working agreements with Client Organisations

In most situations we seek a boundary agreement with client that will include the following basic issues:

  • Participation in HIPP is voluntary as far as possible, it should not be mandated as a disciplinary action;
  • Students will have to be excused from other activities for two days - unless the workshop can be held over a weekend;
  • If learners miss other work, they should be given the opportunity to make this up;
  • Details about which students will participate in a workshop, permission, and so forth are the responsibility of the client;
  • The client should provide a suitable location for the workshop and some of the equipment (chairs, newsprint, markers, tape, etc.);
  • At least two facilitators, but no more than four trainers, should be involved in each workshop and should attend the two-day workshop as participants.

Maintaining a HIP Project

Ultimately, the goal is to make each HIP Project independent and self-sufficient other than for ‘quality control’ continuity and certification from the HIP Project co-ordination team.

Training facilitators is thus very important for maintaining a HIP Project.  They should be able to run the workshop (without much outside support) and report back to their HIPP team leader about how the workshops are going, if they need any help, etc.  HIPP team leaders continue to monitor the workshops and the HIP Project as a whole.

Get as many people as possible involved in the project at the start.  Remember, the more trained facilitators the better, for the number of workshops that can be offered is limited by the number of facilitators available.

Learner Facilitators

Using students as facilitators works well both because it makes the internal trainers feel good about being leaders (and leading can only be learned by the experience of leading), and because it functions well as a positive peer role model for other young people.  However, it is important to choose youngsters who can handle the task, and not get carried away with their role.  Young facilitators do not have to be “perfect” students with good behaviour.  But they should be confident, open minded, well respected by their peers, and into what HIPP is all about.  They should also be able to express themselves, share their experiences, talk openly in front of their peers, and handle questioning they may receive arising from the issues they discuss.

Staff Facilitators

Staff can and, perhaps should be facilitators.  But staff facilitators should be carefully handpicked.  Do not involve a member of staff who is not interested.  The member of staff must believe in the project, be willing to invest time in the workshop, be able to relate to the students, respect the students, and be respected by the students in return.  If this does not happen, the member of staff will end up working against the workshop.

One of the best ways to get members of staff involved is through a two to three hour mini-workshop.  This is a quick way to introduce the HIP Project and to generate audience.  Interested members of staff will want to find out more about the project and become involved in it.  Also talk to the members of staff individually about the project.

Outside Facilitators

Facilitators from outside the training institutions (such as AVP facilitators, members of the community, etc.) are also very important, because it shows the students that community really cares about them and their training.  This may be challenging because the workshops are often held during the week.  However, some outside facilitators are usually able to make the time to facilitate workshops, and they are a critically important resource to use.  Outside facilitators will enhance the environment of the workshop and ensure that the students and members of staff do not turn a workshop into a ‘class’.  It is also important, where possible, for students to see the community involved and this involvement will enable the transfer of HIPP principles to the home and outside community environment – an important aspect in their learning.

Outside involvement is best solicited through the institution management.  HIPP will happily present the HIP Project at a meeting of the management board and trainers of the institution..



(Books, Articles, Manuals and Non-print Materials)


Alternatives to Violence Project.  Manual - Basic Course

Alternatives to Violence Project.  Manual – Second Level Course

Alternatives to Violence Project.  Manual - Training for Trainers

Apsey, Lawrence S et al.  Transforming Power for Peace

Arnett, Ronald C.  Dwell in Peace: Applying Nonviolence to Everyday Relationships

Barton, Peter.  Everybody Rejoice

Bennet, Lerone. What Manner of Man: A Biography of Martin Luther King, Jr.

Bickmore, Kathy and the Northeast Ohio Alternatives to Violence Project Committee. Alternatives to Violence: A Manual for teaching peacemaking to youth and adults.

Bigelow, Albert. The voyage of the Golden Rule

Bondurant, Joan. Conquest of Violence

Buscaglia, Leo. Loving Each Other

Caine, Renate Nummela and Geoffrey Caine.  Making Connections: Teaching and the Human Brain

Center for Conflict Resolution. Building United Judgement: A handbook for consensus decision making

Children’s Creative Response to Conflict. Classroom for a Small Planet

Cooney, Robert and Helen Michalowski.  The Power of People: Active non-violence in the United States

Del Vasto, Lanza. Warriors of Peace: Writings on the technique of non-violence

Desai, Narayan. Handbook for Satyagrahi

Deutsch, Morton.  Conflict Resolution: Theory and Practice

Einstein-Gordon, Vivian.  The Chicago Model and Beyond

Equity Institute.  Sticks, Stones, and Stereotypes

Erikson, Erik. Gandhi’s Truth

Fischer, Roger.  Getting to Yes

Fluegelman, Andrew.  1. New Games Book ; 2. More New Games and Playful Ideas

Freire, Paulo.  Pedagogy of the Oppressed

Friends Suburban Project. Mediators’ Handbook: Peacemaking in your neighbourhood

Fry, A Ruth.  Victories without Violence

Gandhi, Mohandas.  An Autobiography: My experiments with truth

Hare, A Paul and Herbert H Blumberg.  Nonviolent Direct Action

Hope, Marjorie and James Young.  The Struggle for Humanity

Hunter, Allan A.  Courage in Both Hands

Johnson, David, W., Roger T Johnson, and Edythe Johnson Holubec.  Circles of Learning

Judson, Stephanie.  Manual on Nonviolence and Children

King, Martin Luther, Jr.  1. Strength to love; 2. Stride toward Freedom: The Montgomery story; 3. The Trumpet of Conscience; 4. Where Do We Go from Here? Chaos or Community?

Kreidler, William J.  Elementary Perspectives: Teaching Concepts of Peace and Conflict

Lantieri, Linda.  Making a Difference

Lewis, David L.  King

Luvmour, Josette and Sambhova Luvmour.  Everyone Wins!  Co-operative Games and Activities

May, Rollo.  Power and Innocence

Merton, Thomas.  The Nonviolent Alternative

Movement for a New Society.  1. Resource Manual for a Living Revolution; 2. Clearness

Oppenheimer, Martin and George Lakey.  A Manual for Direct Action

Orlick, Terry.  The Co-operative Sports and Game Book

Peck, James.  Underdogs vs. Upperdogs

Rajgat Varanasi. Towards a Non-violent Revolution

Rogers, Carl.  On Personal Power: Inner strength and its revolutionary impact

Rosenberg, Marshall B.  A Model for Nonviolence and Communication

Sharp, Gene.  The Politics of Nonviolent Action – Vol. 1. Power and Struggle; Vol. 2. The Methods of Nonviolent Action; Vol. 3. The Dynamics of Nonviolent Action

Schniedewind, Nancy and Ellen Davidson.  1. Co-operative Learning. Co-operative Lives: A Sourcebook of Activities for Building a Peaceful World; 2. Open Minds to Equality: A Sourcebook of Learning Activities that Promote Race, Sex, Class and Age Equity.

Sheeran, Michael J.  Beyond Majority Rule: Voteless decisions in the Religious Society of Friends

Smedes, Lewis B.  Forgive and Forget: Healing the hurts we don’t deserve

Southern Poverty Law Center.  Teaching Tolerance

Tavris, Carol.  Anger: The misunderstood emotion

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