Nadine Hoover and others visited with Nanik and Petrus at Peace Place and neighboring communities in Indonesia, and accompanied Valerie Joy on a visit with Kins Aparece and Ludwig bon Quirog to Manila and Bohol, Philippines. The group shared in experiential, practice-based workshops on skills for peaceful, conscientious living. The workshops offered were based on the Alternatives to Violence Project (AVP). This year there was a particular focus on land rights activists and their struggles from numerous countries, but the training proved excellent for educators, parents, professionals, peace workers and community organizers.
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.
A timely focus on land rights activists was welcome. 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.
Hayley Hathaway has shared with us her experience while in Indonesia: “I often talk and write about the importance of AVP yet it isn’t until I am in a workshop that I feel it in my heart and in my body exactly how powerful, magical, and universal the program is. AVP is an experiential program that uses a series of interactive activities to help participants gain tools to live lives of nonviolence. I recommend that anyone who hasn’t participated in a basis AVP workshop look for one in their community (avp.international and avpusa.org).”
To read her full narrative visit, www.FPT-AWP.org. Hayley has also generously share over 70 photos of her experience with us via her Flickr account.
From March 7-18, Friends Peace Teams then visited Bohol, Philippines. An aspiring program was conducted at the University of Bohol, which has been the home of AVP in the Philippines since 2013. Nadine Hoover led the facilitating team with Kins Aparece, Siarol Divino, Ludwig Bon Quirog and Valerie Joy. Apprentice facilitators were involved – Angelita S. Borja, Teresa C. Garcia and Merry Grace P. Cepe.
Feedback from workshop participants:
It is a very liberating process of experiencing community life in a non-judgemental way. Tools are practiced and memories re-processed. I am very thankful for having found this program in my lifetime. – Calm Kins
AVP is the best program to spread the good things to other people who went through a lot of Distress in life. As far as I know, this program provided the tools for me to be able to use it and continue it with other groups of women in Florida and fulfil its purpose and goodness! Thank You AVP. I learned and loved it a lot! – Inspiring Imelda
AVP is contagious; it needs to be spread out over the earth, so people will experience long lasting PEACE & LOVE. – God’s Gift Gie-Gi
It was a wonderful and useful seminar. This is another approach and tool that I can use for helping others. Continue to share to others. God Bless! – Truthful Tess
AVP is truly awesome! It is an eye opener and a truly enriching experience. May many people not only those who experience violence, but also those who want to promote peace and goodness in life- do AVP. Thank you for sharing this with me. God Bless you all. – Radiant Randy.
To read Valerie Joy’s full report of the workshops held in the Philippines visit, www.FPT-AWP.org.