Table of Contents

May 2018 • Updates from Indonesia

15 March 2018
Barak Induk News from Petrus
Update on Barak Induk: After the farmers’ congress on the protected forest (TNGL), with the presence of the Director General of Environment and Forestry (LHK), the construction of electricity in Barak Induk has continued. There have been joint discussions between the Director General of LHK, the management office of TNGL, the Local Government of Langkat, and the electric company (PLN). In this process, residents were also briefed. We are currently in the process of waiting for a letter to be issued from the Local Government of Langkat. We anticipate the bid winner for the project to begin to measure and install electricity in Barak Induk soon.

20 March 2018
The journey of building hope through AVP in the Mentawai Islands, West Sumatra.
by Petrus with Rijel Samaloisa, Homelia, and Ibu Ruth Pesat

We began by sending Homelia and Juniarni as emissaries from GKLM Church (Lutheran Mentawai Christian Church) Kinapat Foundation in Mentawai Islands, to attend AVP training and child mentoring in April 2015. Then continued by holding AVP training in Mentawai on 25 – 28 February 2017 followed by 27 participants from Mentawai and invited 3 teams from Peace Place Pati (Nanik, Petrus, Rini); Nadine Hoover, Rene Bove, Annie Dusseau, (USA); and Valerie Joy (Australia). With high morale team Mentawai, driven by Family Rijel Samaloisa and Homelia, in July 2017 opened a child mentoring activity with AVP approach. Currently there are 12 children who are accompanied by 3 companions: Homelia, Juniarni and Martalina.

AVP approach is very helpful to develop participants’ self-confidence, especially as a means of training themselves to build a non-violent life amid the diversity of languages, tribes and habits that exist. It is this reasoning that reinforces the AVP training, and alumni volunteers want to take AVP to the Lutheran Mentawai Christian Church (GKLM) with 23 churches with 12,000 congregations, 2,000 of them young people.

Ferni, one of the training alumni, said that the AVP method is able to motivate him to be more bold, confident and more enthusiastic. He also began to learn how to listen to children while accompanying them at Sunday school.
For Yosefina, AVP helped him to develop more concentration in listening, breaking his previous habit of interrupting the conversation, and currently is able to patiently hear people or children speak fully.

The next obstacle to overcome is that AVP volunteers in Mentawai have not been able to run their own training. They hope that there is assistance from Peace Place Pati and Friend Peace Teams (FPT) to create an independent facilitator team, which will require several trainings for trainers.

Currently there are 5 people from Pesat community in Mentawai, and 3 people from Kinapat who are ready to be trained as trainers to develop AVP in Mentawai. By telephone, Rijel Samaloisa and Mrs. Rut Pesat expressed their hope for the continuation of training as a trainer for the team in Mentawai. They have not been able to support transportation to bring the Peace Place team as of yet but they will prepare accommodations and a training place for local participants in Mentawai.

12 April 2018
Listening is one of the methods at Land Conflict Mediation in Mentawai Islands.
By Rijel Samaloisa with Petrus

Land ownership history in Mentawai has diverse backgrounds. Among them, ownership may be based on the discovery of the location by a particular tribe which is then occupied. Land may be given as a gift or award for a particular ethnic merit or merit to a newcomer to a different ethnic group. Also, as a ransom or a customary fine associated with an act of violence one has experienced. So the history of land ownership is rather difficult to tell openly because it concerns the privacy of the local people, especially concerning the self esteem or the existence of a particular community or group.

With the growing numbers of population, migration, and the increase in development cause a rise in the frequency of conflicts triggered by land authorization that may occur within villages in Mentawai Islands.

One conflict is a land authorization conflict with about 1000 hectares involving communities in three villages, Masokut, Mara and Bosua. This incident opened the insights of Rijel Samaloisa, alumni of AVP Mentawai training in February 2017 with Heri Widodo Sheep Indonesia Foundation activist to bring together the conflicting parties.

Because a trip to the area takes almost half a day they have to spend the night in the village. On April 14, 2018 there was a meeting in Masokut attended by about 70 people including men, women and children. They held meetings in open areas, hoping that the community would get used to speaking openly and being heard by many, while teaching the children to get used to talking and listening to people in turn.

After each talk about what is felt and the reasons why they are managing the land, adding the historical story of the origins of ownership, they started to come to agreement as to who has a right to and own the disputed land. Marsius Samangilailai and Martua Sababalat from Masokut apologized to Merjayanto Samaloisa and Yoptar Samaloisa at the open meeting forum, for the actions that have done against the citizens of Bosua.

From this incident, learning that courage in speaking honestly and listening to what is felt by all parties in conflict, everyone is able to solve the problem with non-violence.