Table of Contents

News 13 Nov 2008

Friends Peace Teams’ Indonesia Initiative Report
November 2008
by Nadine Hoover, Coordinator

1. The fundraiser spaghetti dinner turned out to be scheduled on the evening of the inauguration of the new State College President and the University’s trustees were all being hosted in town, so we only made just over $600. But that was good and I loved talking to the group. I also did a presentation to the American Association of University Women local chapter, and brief presentations to New York Yearly Meeting’s Witness Coordinating Committee, World Ministries Committee and the whole group. I spoke about my explicit practice of faithfulness for over a decade and how each time I feel I can’t give up any more of myself, I can’t stand it and have to yield to the revelations given to me anyway and when I pass through that threshold and get to the other side, it may not be comfortable, easy or even safe, but I’m always taken aback at its awe and beauty and wonder why I didn’t do this a long time ago. I spoke about building friendships—people-to-people—and organizing the work around what makes sense to us as friends. I shared a story of arriving and driving five hours from Medan to Langsa. Along the way by chance we met numerous people I knew. We stopped by an office to drop off a box and met two refugees, saw a couple people on the street in various towns, got picked up by Ferry. The driver said, “Madam, I don’t know who you are, but I know you’re friends. They are the most honest people I’ve ever met. Whoever you are, if you ever need any help, day or night, you just call me.” And he gave me his card. I shared about the possibility of helping extremely poor people living in the forest demonstrate that they can live there without destroying the forest, which just might bring together environmentalists and human rights defenders.

2. A woman came out of NYYM sessions to tell me that environmentalists care about people too. I explained that it wasn’t about emotion; it was about the fact that environmentalists protect the forest and people destroy the forest. So in the end they have to advocate for people to leave the forest. If we could create a situation where people did not destroy the forest, then environmentalists could defend community-based forest management and people living in the forest. The head of the refugee camp is the only person I’ve said, “People destroy the forest,” to and had him agree immediately and simply. Everyone else wants to qualify it, but it is just a fact. This woman’s husband works for the UN in forestry so I asked her if he could find out if there is an official map of the Leuser Bioreserve and if he knows of anyone else using silver-treated ceramic water filters in bioreserves around the world to let me know.

3. I have written to Rachel Britt of QUNO in Geneva to ask if there is an official map and to let her know about the situation of these refugees. I have sent her a video of an interview with Pak Darmo, the head of the refugee camp. I also wrote to Gabriel to ask for his assistance in guiding and tracking our work. He works in rainforests around the world.

4. Sarah spent a month in Indonesia after working with children in North Uganda and attending the AVP International Gathering in Kenya, where she hosted Mark Graham (see http://theredemptioncntr.com). She went to Aceh and did an AVP basic with the fourteen teachers at Bustanul Fakri, a boarding junior and senior high school for rural children orphaned or traumatized in the war. It was a successful workshop, but not necessarily something that we want to continue. AVP is difficult in hierarchical institutions such as schools. She spent some time with Ferry looking over the office, then went to Barak Induk refugee camp. They did a basic workshop with eleven teenagers there as well. It went very well. They did it in the small living room of one of the facilitators, which was not the best arrangement, but worked.

5. Pak Pri, Bambang , Yuler, Purwanto dan Akhid in Jogjakarta have been working on a variety of water filter systems. They are producing filters and now just have to figure out the best materials for the water storage, sealants and faucets for the complete system. They should work out those details and be in production of the whole filter system before I arrive in January.

6. I was a participant rather than a facilitator of an AVP basic workshop at my house. The team did a superb job and we had a great workshop.

7. I plan to go to Barak Induk, refugee camp from January through March, 2009 and to build a small house that I can stay in and that can also be used to do workshops and host work campers later. They would also like to use the house as a guesthouse when I’m not there as they currently have nowhere for people to stay when they come up to the camp. This is a wonderful development since before we met they were a very closed community. The addition of a guesthouse is a welcomed development.

8. If we get the water filter systems and stove production underway, we could do a work camp in August. People could camp out in this small house and work on filters and stoves, do workshops, learn about the area and use this as a base to visit other areas. I already have one teenager who wants to come with me. We are planning for the month of August, Sat. August 1 through Sat. August 29, 2009. Please consider coming yourself or inviting others to join. The tickets are expensive, estimate $2,000 to cover the ticket and visa, we need at least $300 for expenses for the month (without inflation) and it is best if we bring some funds for activities there. So it is really $2,700 – $3,000. This usually requires some fundraising.

9. I have not made fundraising materials for friends. I will continue to try to do that. I could write the notes into the Power Point presentation if anyone could find a way to project from your laptop and use it.

10. At the moment, I am trying to translate the trauma healing workshop manual, which will take me some time.

11. I am recovering well though. It is easy to forget how hard this work can be sometimes. Self-care is going well although there is always much more I can do.

12. I plan to return to Santa Monica for the Friends Peace Teams face-to-face meeting March 25-29, 2009. We are exploring a speaking tour upon my return. I need to talk to Pamela Hawkins again, but I am wondering if I should come home and plan a speaking tour for next year with more lead time to do the planning. We will see. The possibility right now is to spend 10 days in CA, 10 days in Florida/Georgia and 10 days coming up the coast. I will definitely spend some time in CA, but the rest is not clear to me yet.

13. I have asked Lee Norton to go to Brooklyn New York with me the first week of December. I have been given a concern for Mark Graham, founder and director of the Redemption Center there, a home that takes in men and women returning from prison. He is severely suffering from trauma himself. I would very much like him to succeed. I raised the funds to send him to the International AVP gathering in Kenya last September. Sarah hosted him there and he had an amazing time. I was hoping we could do one of the trauma healing workshops as well, but there will not be time, so we will do one public talk and do a three-day intensive treatment for Mark.

14. Sarah was not able to get a visa to attend the FWCC Asia West Pacific Section so she did not do a presentation there.