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2017 Feb • Nanik reports on the 4th Annual International Peace Training

On 12-14 February 2017, Peace Place in Pati, Central Java, Indonesia held the Fourth Annual International Peace Training with 34 participants from different areas in Indonesia, including Pati, Yogyakarta, Kediri, North Sumatra and West Papua, as well as from Nepal and the USA, including Portland Oregon, Boise Idaho, Pasadena California, Buffalo New York, and Washington DC. Their backgrounds included student, teacher, parent, housewife, imam, therapist, nurse and peace activist from different religious backgrounds including Christian, Catholic, Muslim, Hindu and Quaker. We were pleased to welcome Friends Peace Teams’ Finance Committee Clerk and new Communication Specialist. 

The first three days of the workshop were an AVP Basic Workshop facilitated by Nanik, Petrus and Ninok with Erni apprenticing and Nadine translating. Each session included a moment of silence, gathering, agenda preview, activities, light and livelies, reflection and closing. For the gatherings, each participant said their name and where they were from and then divided into groups in three to answer the question, “Why am I interested in this workshop”. After each activity, participants divided into groups of three or four to debrief on how they felt or what they learned, then in the large group spoke to any implications for us as a people. The diverse backgrounds of the participants made the discussion very interesting and deep.

Nadine, Subhash, Yehudah and Joanie facilitated a day on trauma resiliency and Rene and Ann facilitated two days on Transformative Mediation. The final day half the group did a one-day Transformative Mediation practicum while the other half did a one-day Developmental Play practicum. 

This year we focused on land rights activists as well as teachers and parents. Locally, the cement industry’s mountaintop removal combined with government neglect of river management and Japanese trollers blocking the river outlet has led to massive flooding in the Pati area. Pak Sunhadi and Mar’ah were often late as they fought rising water levels each morning. Mislan and Saring from Barak Induk, North Sumatra face police confiscation of the fruits of their labor while they wait on an official ruling on their land claims after 17 years of being displaced by the war in Aceh. Rori, Peristila and Siti from West Papua face Indonesian military presence protecting international mining interests and suppressing calls for independence. Subhash and Nari Ram from Nepal have helped to organize 97,000 landless people, get rights for them in the new Constitution and relief for them after the devastating earthquake. They learned a great deal from each other during the workshop and on the breaks as they shared their struggles and strategies.

Report by Nanik, March 2017

Foto of group International AVP Basic Training at Peace Place Pati February 2017