Table of Contents

Minutes 7 May 2013

Present: Janet Riley, Nadine Hoover, Jasmine Payget, Tom Martin, Sharon Hoover, Fenna Mandolang, Barbara Thomas, Nicholas Rozard, Deb Wood, John Michaelis, Gay Howard, Subhash Kattel.

Apologies/Regrets: Heri Wibowo, who is meeting with the village elders of Sekrak County in Aceh Tamiang along with the Village Defense Forum to explain the land conflicts between business and villagers, and he is facilitating the village advocacy; and Valerie Joy, who is returning from Turkey.

Agenda:

 

The Meeting opened with a moment of silence.

Check in:

Rosemary Epps reported by Nadine: Thinking of Rosemary Epps, four amazing AVP workshops in Kabul.

Nadine Hoover:  Getting ready to take a team to Indonesia, keeps getting bigger, a then smaller.  In FPT, we take care of family first.  Chris Hughes (Australia) and Blaze are coming with me.

Sharon Hoover:  Dean and I are going to do a presentation at Flagstaff meeting next month, all arranged and looking forward to that.

Gay Howard: Preparing the FPT Face to Face agenda coming up in the next month.

Fenna Mandolang: Also at a work conference, got the chance to explain why I was excusing myself for a short while, went for a hike today at Lake George, rewarded with great view.

Tom Martin: Is at a National meeting and got to explain to his business colleagues what he had to do tonight and is glad to be with us.

John Michaelis: Just got back from exciting trip from Nepal, … video for peace teams, Carroll Boone coming back to Nepal after 40 years away  and … from perth.  ran a trauma workshop and discernment workshop.  Trauma workshop for single women who are in trauma situation. On Sunday visited an eco community that I and Anthea are interested in.   In less than a week, leaving for the face to face in USA.

Jasmine Payget: Doing a memory garden this afternoon with a local school to help kids have some quiet time in a garden. It’s lovely.

Barbara Thomas: Glad to be through shoulder surgery and on the road to recovery.

Deb Wood: Nice to know that Tom is close by, plenty to keep busy, I have not missed any important deadlines yet and hope to keep that up.

Subhash Kattel;  I am taking rest after workshops, and taking care of my brother at home and other family members are out now.  More family person in these couple of days, maybe AVP again next week. The experience in discernment and trauma workshop spoke to us.  We have plans for workshops in Pokura.

 

Rosemary Epps reported: Are there really Alternatives to Violence in Afghanistan?

Running AVP workshops in Afghanistan is challenging but with a name that heralds ‘alternatives to violence’ – it does get attention. For most of our participants it’s been on their minds for a lifetime. Violence has been the norm for so long (35 years and counting,) that they wonder whether there could possibly be an alternative. They are deeply sceptical.Yet four amazing AVP workshops were held in Kabul in April. The first basic was for 16 community development trainers for microfinance projects, rural development and gender specialists working in 5 different provinces in Afghanistan. They loved it – and wanted more. Next was a full set of workshops for a diverse group from Faryab and Kunduz provinces of key people needed to raise awareness of women’s rights. These included deeply conservative religious scholars, heads of Departments of Islamic Education and Women’s Affairs, lawyers, male and female professionals committed to a secular or progressive Afghanistan, and a keen group of community development trainers eager for change. Enough rough edges to whip up a storm, yet by day three nobody wants to stop. By day nine – with differences put aside, 22 new apprentice facilitators have honed their skills and are elated to have new insights, friendships and real hopes of creating ‘alternatives to violence’.

 

Resources Needed:

Resource needs not yet funded

 

Resource Needs Fulfilled! Thank you!

 

John Michaelis is concerned about the administration of AVP in Kathmandu – like to have further discussions on this.  For attention in upcoming meetings.

 

Decisions or Actions:

Gay - adding to agenda -

FPT Face to Face Meeting –  John will make sure there is microphone and loudspeakers.

Tom will bring his laptop.  Gay  will bring her microphone. Nadine emailed the agenda.

John Michaelis has confirmed that we have internet connection at the Face to Face.  Please confirm with John Michaelis if you will join the Skype call at 9am to noon, Thursday May 16th USA (St Louis  time).

 

In preparation for the Face-to-Face, Tom Martin asked if we could list AWP developments and openings that we have been led to by Spirit through the careful listening and hard work of our volunteers and staff, such as:

Gay, John, Tom, Sharon and Nick will share this at the Friends Peace Teams’ face-to-face Council Meeting this month.

 

Power of Goodness. (See http://fil.quaker.org/power_of_goodness.html) Janet Riley and Johan Mauer are looking for a home for the Power of Goodness project, which published a book of a couple dozen stories with 3-4 drawings each from Russia on The Power of Goodness: Stories of Nonviolence and Reconciliation. They would appreciate the oversight of our Working Group of Friends and invite us to collect stories on our website. Janet would welcome other Friends to join her on a Power of Goodness team to review the stories and solicit specific additions, when needed, to produce more of these books with stories from more countries. Conscience Studio has offered to publish them, or the team could choose another publisher as they decide. Friends will take a month to think about this.

About 5,000 copies of POG  were distributed to schools and orphanages in Russia.  Became interested in Chechnya, so they distributed 2,500 copies bilingually. They were joined with English Quaker Chris Hunter who directs Peacebuilding UK which has a group of Chechen psychologists who work with children who have been traumatised by war and a subsequent violent government.  Gave the book — it was a wonderful tool to help them get into their own experience and feelings about growing up in a violent setting, relating to stories that came from another part of the world.  Every country that we produce the collection in, we ask the new country to add in stories and then these are available to other countries.  Decided to make more copies available trilingual, published.  The Chechen psychologists drafted a teachers manual which includes a lesson plan for each story and other reference material such as guidance on how to conduct a role play for the stories.  In the autumn, the teachers will go into schools to run workshops for teachers on how to use the stories and manual as a peace education tool.  The project in Chechnya is on solid ground with 4,500 copies already printed and waiting for the teacher workshops. The POG project has received funding from small Quaker funds and individuals. Larger grants came from the US Institute of Peace and recently from an organization in the European Union to develop an interactive web site which were given to Peacebuilding UK.

Most of the day to day work is being done by Janet Riley supported by Johan Maurer, former General Sec FUM, and Q in Russian Friend.

Janet Riley has asked if Friends Peace Teams in Asia West Pacific would take the Power of Goodness under our care, which would involve soliciting brief stories and pictures on an ongoing basis from Friends Peace Teams in Asia with a concern for peace and goodness.  A Power of Goodness Team might be coordinated by Janet Riley to: 1) provide the specifications for stories to make it clear to people what is expected (many stories are 150-300, but some stories are as much as 1,200-1,500 words; the stories should be culturally and personally specific, but universally recognizable–the Power of Goodness should be readily apparent to readers; 3-5 pictures drawn by a child or adult to illustrate the stories; maybe some guiding questions?); 2) refer people they know to submit to the FPT-AWP.org website (if not an active traveler with us, the story should come with a recommendation from this small group); 3) review these stories on a regular basis and mark stories selected for publication; 4) prepared country-based collections or international collections from among these stories for publication; and 5) seek stories that would fill out a collection, as needed.

Friends are asked to consider this idea of working together with the Power of Goodness project.

Nadine from FPT perspective:  The Power of Goodness was produced in Russia and Chechnya.  Janet is looking for Friends to pay attention to this project so as not to let it go by the wayside.  If Friends felt comfortable, we could link to our website and invite stories to be added from the AWP region. When there were enough stories, then the Power of Goodness team could compile them to produce a book, harvesting the stories. (Note: our FPT meeting usually gives time for people to read the materials first, which was not done on this item.)

Friends commented:

Jasmine -commits to read available materials for discussion next meeting.

Tom – asked if it could be available for the Face to Face meeting May 16-18?  Janet said no, because of complicated logistics of shipping from Russia.

Gay – well acquainted with the materials and project and think it would be a good idea.

Janet – would like to brainstorm on how this could be a partnership project, and would like to include Johan in the conversation.

Sharon – would Greta be interested?  She was exploring bringing her trips to the Republic of Georgia under the care of our Working Group, but is withdrawing due to health reasons.

Fenna – do you visit Russia regularly?

Janet – Yes, I have spent much time in Russia, but not Chechnya. Note that not all information on website is completely up to date.  Quite a number of stories and artwork are on the website and strongly encourages you to read the stories to see what the project entails.  Offers to email manual to John Michaelis who will put up on shared documents.

We agree to visit this topic next month.

Request from the Working Group: Fenna worked with Nadine on the language below for our priorities. Friends are asked to review this language below and revisit it next month.

 

Priorities for Friends Peace Teams in Asia West Pacific

  1. A Reliable Friends Program: Administer and coordinate Friends Peace Teams in Asia West Pacific as a reliable, sustainable Friends program, supported by monthly calls, documented in the Working Group’s records, an office handbook and a volunteer handbook.
  2. Translation: Invest in translation and editing for Quaker materials, manuals for established activities, and news and information and interpretation for teams, to support relationships among volunteers across languages.  (Note that this is huge commitment to reduce English and white privilege but it takes time and money – proposal that translation also include AVP materials but will consider resource implications for next meeting).
  3. Traveling Peace Teams: Prepare for, host and support regular team trips with travelers under our care: Nadine Hoover, Mislan and Petrus to Sumatra and Java, John Michaelis and Subhash Kattel to Nepal; Valerie Joy and Bonifacio Amado Jr Quirog to the Philippines and Rosemary Epps to Afghanistan.
  4. Share the News and Stories: Post e-news at least every two weeks, ensure the website is up-to-date and balanced and produce a PeaceWays-AWP twice a year, articles for PeaceWays twice a year, an annual report to Yearly Meetings and Friends Peace Team aTeams’ Face-to-Face,  articles for other publications.

 

List of tasks:

1. a) working group records                Sarah, John, spiritual companions

b) an office handbook                Sarah, Valerie, Nadine, Jasmine

c) a volunteer handbook                Martha Baer

2. a) translation of materials                hire – to be name

b) editing of materials                    Nanik-Indonesian; Subhash-Nepali

c) interpretation for teams                hire – to be named

3. a) prepare for regular team trips            Nadine, John, Rosemary, Valerie

b) host regular team trips                Nadine, John, Rosemary, Valerie

c) support regular team trips                Sarah (respond to inquires/request)

4. a) post e-news at least every two weeks        Sarah

b) ensure the website is up-to-date and balanced    Sarah

c) PeaceWays-AWP twice a year              Valerie

d) articles for PeaceWays twice a year        Sharon, Nadine, John, Rosemary

e) an annual report to Yearly Meetings        request for volunteer

f) an annual report for the 990 form            request for volunteer

g) articles for other publications.             as moved

 

Nadine noted that FPT-AWP coordinators meet one week before the whole group Tuesday/Wednesdays — the week before our meeting. Two weeks before our Skype meeting, please check any email requests for stories and comments on the agenda to help prepare better for our skype meeting. We encourage FPT members to consider a routine of thinking about FPT AWP once a week on a Tues/Wed – to hold us in the Light, to write any accomplishments, resources, needs or questions.

 

Closing Word::

Nadine Hoover: love you! all! and Subhash!

Sharon Hoover: Friend Barbara spoke my mind re technology, otherwise pass.

Gay Howard: Hopeful

Subhash Kattel: increasing my understanding

Fenna Mandolang: faithful

Tom Martin:  grateful, community; good clerking

John Michaelis:  in awe.

Jasmine Payget:  enjoying learning about the technology, it’s my goal this year, amazed at the types of projects and thankful

Barbara Thomas: tremendously appreciative, barely hanging in with the technology,

Deb Wood: connected

Janet Riley:  In awe, have heard about FPT over the years, feel in awe to see your work to gather, in sound quaker business practice, was looking at Q minutes and offers to add some comments on that.