Table of Contents

2017 May • Papuans update after returning home from International Peace Training

Report from Papua:

Progress at home after the February 12-19th, 2017 International Training

Participants from Papua: Siti, Frescilla, and Rory. (Photo by Nanik, February '17)

The AVP International Workshop held on February 12-19, 2017 at Peace Place Pati, Central Java was attended by 34 participants: 18 participants who came from Pati, 7 from USA, 2 from Nepal, 2 from Langkat North Sumatera, 1 from Yogyakarta, 1 from Kediri in East Java, and 3 from Papua.

The background of the Indonesian participants varied; among others, they were farmers, child counselors, teachers, land and environmental activists, NGO activists, students, founders of early childhood schools, and community representatives of victims of the Aceh conflict who live in Langkat, North Sumatra. While participants from Nepal were land activists and NGO activists. The schedule included AVP Basic Material as well as Trauma Healing, Transformative Mediation, and Child Mentoring. On February 20th participants from Papua and Nepal apprenticed at Joglo Preschool in the practice of Child Mentoring.

 

The Papuan Participants

Papuan participants were recruited by two people in Papua, Yohana who lives in Jayapura, and Fredy. Fredy came from Manukwari. Fredy attended the AVP International Workshop at Peace Place Pati in January 2016.

The Papuan participants who attended training in February 2017 were Rory Marwani, a human rights activist, and Siti Masita Braweri and Frescilla Wabia, both who are Preschool teachers in Weriagar village, West Papua.

 

Left to right: Siti, Frescilla, Rawit, and Petrus work together at Joglo Preschool. (Photo: Nanik, February 2017)

Reflection

“This training is different from any trainings that I have ever attended. It seems so hard to bring this experience into my usual environment with violence. Harsh words and swearing is common in my society and even children are used to saying this. From the experiences shared by all my new friends, who come from different backgrounds and countries, they encouraged me to move forward and bring my experience to where I was. Thank you to all, especially Nadine, Nanik and Peter who have given me the opportunity to participate in this Training!” - Siti Masita Braweri

“I am so glad to have studied at Joglo Preschool, where I learned to change myself starting with the small to big things. Learning in a safe clean room and away from the street noise makes focusing easier and allows for the learning to be well absorbed. I am impressed with the team who are people who have such peace of mind that they invite us, with their knowledge, behavior, heart and unstoppable smiles to want to imitate them. I would also like to thank the team that facilitated bringing us from Papua to Pati. Thank you for a safe, clean, beautiful, well-fed, well-watered residence, so all the activities could be followed well.” - Frescilla Wabia

 

We really hope that if there is more training, don’t forget we are in Papua! We feel imperfect and we have a big challenge at home with people who don’t understand a non-violent life.

The most memorable activities included: games, open speaking, and working in pairs. It was very interesting because the participants came from mixed countries. An impressive activity during our apprenticeship at Joglo Preschool was the use “Centers” for playing and how that helped in mentoring children.

Sunhadi, Rory, Wieit, Mar'ah. (Photo: Nanik, February 2017)

After returning from training there was a change of approach made by Frescilla and Siti. Habits of anger began to disappear, we started to pay attention to one-by-one. This was never done before. Now we were starting to think about how to get kids interested going to school, introducing new rules. One of them was how to put away toys after playing, and not take them home, so they can be used the next day with friends at school. The number of children were 30, but 15 were active; 15 children have begun to change, they no longer bring home toys.

Frescilla said that She has not been able to share all the results of training with her three other teachers. She has shared how to interact more child-friendly. When She talked about what she saw at Joglo Preschool, her friends said that Papua’s children could not be likened to Javanese children, but Frescilla said that all children are equal and it can be done. She said that there has begun a change in the children though only a little so we need to practice more!

At home Frescila also told six of her husband’s work friends. They were very interested and supported Frescilla to practice her experience in their village. Frescilla also practiced silence and sat in circles during the activity at school and in Church. Now the children have begun to recognize the silence that initially was so difficult and to listen to others. There were 50 Sunday school children and 30 were active. Frescilla was supported by 3 other Sunday school teachers who used to use rattan to hit children who were rowdy.

Frescilla felt proud to be able to start with small things like not talking loudly at home, school and even in Sunday school.

 

Thank you for introducing this method of building a non-violent life and we hope there is ongoing support especially to train teachers and parents in our area.