Table of Contents

Minutes 4 Sep 2012

Friends Peace Teams in Asia West Pacific
September 4 / 5, 2012

Present: Fenna Mandolang, Gay Howard, Heri Wibowo, Sarah Rozard, John Michaelis, Rosemary Epps, Nadine Hoover and Petrus

Regrets: Tom Martin, Nick Rozard and Shawna Doran. Nadine will write to Deb Wood and Sharon Hoover.

Tom Martin offered to prepare our budget that needs to be submitted to the Friends Peace Teams Council. We do not manage by a budget nor make promises until we have the funds; we only spend money we have in hand. We make decisions based on our best sense of what’s right and test our discernment with others. But submitting a budget helps define our budget categories to coordinate with the office.

Shawna Doran will give her first talk at SEYM Fall Gathering in October 6, 2012 (where she will get other meetings to commit to fundraising for a tour by Nadine in Jan 2013), then at Half Yearly Meeting in November, then a fundraiser at Gainesville Monthly Meeting in December if they approve. She needs a handout on Friends Peace Teams, the Asia West Pacific brochure and 100 newsletters. She would also like to mail our material to each meeting in SEYM, both their Meeting clerks and Peace and Social Concerns Committee clerks. So she needs 100 newsletters. We will mail her some options to use various newsletters or to duplicate a particular one for everyone.

Nick Rozard was at his Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) training class, which is not flexible is scheduling and so was not able to be with us. But he is actively working in a lab at Alfred University on the water filter research and meeting with Rina and Tony in Jogjakarta on a weekly basis over Skype.

Sharon Hoover is just returning from a camping trip out west with two grandchildren.

Deb Wood was in Maine for about a week and  a half – relaxing! Sorry to have missed the call; she’ll look forward to the minutes.

Check ins:

Gay Howard went to Pacific Yearly Meeting Annual Session in August. She put out a table and an interest group and got some money (she has not counted it yet). Rene Wong, from Pacific Yearly Meeting, is trying to help an island off the coast of S Korea that has been invaded by US military. Their traditional livelihood is based on female divers and the US military is destroying most of their diving fields. Gay will get a brief description of her, her friends on the island and the situation there.

Heri Wibowo (Bowo) is in Aceh. Last Sunday the AVPers in Aceh went to Barak Induk for two days (Sun-Mon). They went to see the Tunas Baru Preschool and meet with Mislan. Five of them–Fitri, Riski, Bowo, Tina and Ifau–left Langsa at 9:00 am on three motorcycles to Barak Induk, where they arrived about 2pm. They discussed AVP, their history of workshops and the development of the preschool. Barak Induk has become a place where many people in the District come to visit to see how they are teaching. Mislan took them to the preschool to show them the various toys and materials, the rules, and the interaction among the teachers and students. But the District Preschool Association asked Mislan to come to the District office to meet with the School District officials. So on Monday morning when the children arrived Mislan was not present. They joined the Tunas Baru Preschool students and teachers in their activities.

The group got to see how the teachers handled children who were not paying attention or having a hard time. Bowo was in the messy play area playing with obleck and playdough. Riski was taking video with his cell phone and Tina was taking pictures. They were with the kids from 8-11 am. There they saw it was not at all like they had imagined. It was so simple–the building and the teachers were so simple and just made use of what they had. It was very simple, but Indonesians often don’t do these simple things, even though these simple activities are so effective. Bowo saw that they were actually doing exactly what they have learned from Nadine, but is very uncommon.

Bowo saw the children arrive and greet the teachers and pay their dues. Then the children put their own bags away by themselves. For instance, Dimas came in and put his bag away. And then the teachers showed him his name over his bag D I M A S. Then he could play whatever he wanted until everyone was there and he was active the whole time. When everyone was there, they got in a circle and shared about the theme, which was “I” and the sub-theme “identity.” So they talked about the difference in their hair and bodies. They talked about and compared themselves to each other. Then they did their journal. They could draw or write whatever they wanted. Even though the theme was clear, a child was free to draw whatever he or she wanted. Some just scribbled. When the teacher asked, “Would you like to tell me about your drawing?” the child might answer, “That’s a mountain.” or “That’s a bird.” The teachers would look at the picture and know the developmental stage and write it on the back of the picture. They referred to a developmental guide sheet. The students played in the various centers, such as messy play, dramatic/art play, and construction/block play.

The teachers explained that they mixed the children across different developmental stages for circle time, but then the children got over an hour of time with a group of children in the same developmental stage to play in each center, rotating among the play centers over the week. Bowo asked them how they grouped the children in the developmental groups. The teachers could see the childrens’ developmental stages by their journals and by the way they play. The teachers could see their developmental stages, not based on seeing a child at one time or in one play center or by one teacher, but over a number of teachers over time and play centers.

After the children went home, the teachers had a teacher meeting. They talked about a child who had cried after he had wet his pants. Ani had taken the child out, but then she left him and forgot him and he cried hard before someone went to get him. They talked in the meeting about how this happen and how not to let it happen again. They also talked about a child who did not want to play. There were three children who played together at home and one of them particularly did not want to play with others. The teachers had split this group up among the centers to get them to play with others, but one of them was having such a hard time they let him go back to a group with a friend to help him get involved and not isolate himself. Bowo was interested in how the teachers problem-solved together and how they arrived early before school. They each took a turn to come early, open up and prepared materials. Bowo thanked Friends Peace Teams. That’s all he remembered from their visit to Tunas Baru and Mislan’s home.

John Michaelis had an exciting week on an island off the south of Australia called Tasmania. He was at The Friends School in Hobart, the largest Quaker school in the world. It is a Quaker pre-K to 12th year co-educational day and boarding school, founded in 1887. Total enrollment is over 1300 students, including a choice of the International Baccalaureate, the Tasmanian Certificate of Education or Vocational Education and Training at years 11 and 12. He taught invention and thoroughly enjoyed it!

John also gave talks about his trip with Nadine to Indonesia. Rosemary got a list of ten wide-ranging people who would like to be involved in Friends Peace Teams in Asia West Pacific–to be on the Working Group, travel to Indonesia or Nepal, donate or get news and stories about our work. Sally Meguchen’s husband was very interested. He’s involved in the Rotary Club and will request an annual donation to this work. Pamela Leach in Tasmania spent some time in Indonesia and speaks Indonesian and wants to join one of our trips.

Two weeks ago, John was contacted by an AVP friend in Nepal to go to the UN Refugee Camps. He might not be able to go to the camps for security issues, but he will go to Kathmandu on September 8, 2012 to prepare the AVP team to go to the camps and possibly join them there, pending clearance by the UN.

Nadine Hoover (Alfred, NY), Nancy Shippen (Cambridge, MA) and Sally Hertzfeld (Perth, Australia) met to test his discernment about leaving so abruptly, but concurred that this is a good time to travel to Nepal. He will work with Subhash and a handful of Nepalese AVP facilitators to strengthen their capacity to offer advanced and facilitator training workshops in Nepal; support them in reaching out to people displaced in the U.N. refugee camp; and to explore approaches to long-term, grassroots, peace work in Nepal. John was part of the group that trained the first set of 29 facilitators, but many of them were college students who quickly dispersed and were not a foundation for an ongoing capacity. AVP International will fund this trip, but John would like this to be an ongoing concern of Friends Peace Teams in Asia West Pacific. He will seek a Circle of Friends to support connections with peace workers in Nepal through donations and/or visitation.

Petrus said good morning. He’s well in Yogyakarta and apologized for being late.

Rosemary Epps thanks Bowo for his very interesting account of his visit. She attended two good meetings in Hobart with the Quaker meeting listening to John about his visit to Indonesia and Friends Peace Teams in general. She has donations, which she will put into a US check and send to Friends Peace Teams, and new email addresses for the e-news list. John and she were also able to go over the handbook, which they will continue to work on. So it’s been very busy in Tasmania.

Sarah Rozard is working more for Friends Peace Teams, especially the administrative work.

Fenna Mandolang is teaching the father and oldest child of a refugee family in Buffalo, New York how to drive, so they can get a car and be able to apply to jobs that require transportation. She is also teaching English to refugees from Burma with a Chinese friend.

Nadine Hoover is really good! She cleaned her WHOLE house!

Peace Place had a meeting last Saturday to talk about our agenda for activities, especially the preschool activities for with young children. They discussed the children’s development. Two of the children have seen tremendous development, even teaching their parents. One of the parents was crying because of the vast improvement in their child’s development. One of the children was afraid to go to the bathroom alone and after two weeks he was much more relaxed. The child was asked if he wanted to visit their family in Jakarta or Kalimantan and he was able to talk about where he wanted to go. At Peace Place five children arrive in the preschool from 7:30-10:00, the teachers stay until noon, after school lessons for 23 kids in English, math and science from 1:00-5:30pm. Tondomulyo is having trouble because the parents want the kids to learn really quickly to write letters. At Peace Place they have the same problem with the parents, but the parents are willing to understand. But in Tondomulyo, the parents don’t understand. An elementary student was brought to Peace Place to help them learn to read and write, because they are still not able to. For the unit blocks, the wood has to be boiled to get rid of any worms (some of the blocks we sold and sent to Jakarta that got wormy).

A schedule for the Peace Team trip in January-March 2012 to Indonesia was needed last month. Prices for tickets are going up, so it is important to set a schedule soon. Peace Place looks forward to learning from a trauma healing specialist traveling with Nadine and to learning how to better support the development of young children. Team Aceh has been busy going to Barak Induk and opening the preschool on 8 Sept at Riski’s house open two times a week. When Nadine comes, they’d like to learn more about how to work with the young children and how to get and use the materials for play. Peace Place and Team Aceh will talk about the exact schedule.

Decisions:

Friends approved offering friendship and support to Subhash and AVP facilitators in Nepal, as long as we are willing to go forward realistically and slowly. We want to be realistic about our energy and support bases, and that we have a desire to be supportive and reach out in friendship. As we become friends, we will share stories and as the stories resonate with others, opportunities may open up. Neither Australia nor the US have ongoing funds to support this right now. Ideally there would need to be trips every six months for a few years. The UN or an Australian community might have people, energy and funds, but we will have to extend the invitation and see what opportunities arise. Bowo and Petrus concurred recognizing it’s dependent on personnel and funding resources, but we should give each other attention as we are able.

Friends approved the job description for an Administrator for coordinating volunteers, communication and development (fundraising) and organizing an annual Young Adult Peace Team and the appointment of Sarah Rozard to the position. Sarah plans to document the work of the position in an Office Handbook so that the position may easily be handed over when she is ready to move on. She is also planning to seek a Circle of Friends who would like to support this position. This is a major step in moving this beyond “Nadine’s ministry” to being “a Friends’ program.” Australian people and activities will be fully integrated and receive equal attention from the Administrator.

Tax deductible donations are still sent to Friends Peace Teams and may be earmarked in the memo line to: Asia West Pacific, Indonesia, Nepal, Administrator, Peace Place or specific activity such as AVP, developmental play or water filters.

Friends approved paying for our use of the Financial Specialist’s time, including hourly rate plus 20% indirect overhead plus a prorated portion of any personnel benefits.

Nadine will compile a document that clarifies Friends Peace Teams’ history and current activities and send to Gay and John M to inform Australia Yearly Meeting and others asking about our mission and organization.

Check-outs

Gay-love
Bowo-peduli (attention)
John-hopeful
Rosemary-joyful
Sarah-thank you
Fenna-connected
Nadine-happy

Next call is October 2 / 3, 2012.