Asia West Pacific

Building to Support Ecological and Social Peace and Justice Training at Peace Place, Indonesia

 Peace Place training center allows children and adult programs to run simultaneously.

Peace Place began building facilities compatible for children’s learning and adult training based on the permaculture site plan developed in June 2019. Thank you to everyone who contributed the $15,000 to get underway!

Petrus has kept costs low. He reports that we could complete the project significantly under budget if we act now to use the scaffolding and equipment on site, and not wait to start up again next year. For this, we would need another $5,000 immediately for AWP-Peace Place.

Construction began in July, building a temporary children’s outdoor playground for immediate application of the new school curriculum. They successfully integrated ecological and social cultures of peace as a foundation of all Peace Place programs, receiving an A rating on their national accreditation review, 2 November 2019.

We began studying bamboo, and by August we found craftsmen accustomed to traditional bamboo building techniques. In September, we talked to craftsmen in Jogja and found local workers skilled in the selection, harvest, treatment and construction use of bamboo, as well as locations of quality bamboo for construction. About seven local workers in the village of Ketanggan felled bamboo and applied the traditional soaking process before use.

Harvesting bamboo at the right time prevents insects from hatching out later. Since September, there have only been two weeks for appropriate harvest. We followed the tradition of cutting after noontime. When bamboo is cut before noon, it contains high levels of photosynthetic sugar that attracts insects to lay eggs in the bamboo stems.

On October 19, two bamboo artisans began building a covered parking and waiting area for parents. The enclosed portion is used for motorcycle storage at night and as a meeting area for teachers and display area for children’s work during the day. Construction of the training center began on November 6, 2019, immediately after Joglo Preschool completed their national accreditation review. The training center is a hexagonal building (7 x 9 meter). Both buildings were made with concrete cast pillars and framed with bamboo. On November 16, when the parking area was available, children’s activities moved to that structure while repairs were completed on the Joglo Preschool for termite damage and ventilation through added roof vents and an eastern doorway with stairs and terrace. All new buildings protect the land by managing water through water capture (2 x 2 x 1.5 meters). We added outside toilets with their own drainage areas. We are pleased with the quality of this completed work.

The training center began with procurement of bamboo building materials in October and setting the building framework on November 6, 2019. Taking into account the need for additional guest rooms, a second floor (8 x 3.5 meters) was added to the parking structure (8 x 5.5 meters) using local wood for the second story floor and walls in addition to the concrete and bamboo structure. We hope that this will allow the education and training programs to continue simultaneously in the future, serving a wide range of needs and ages.

Sadly, today people are building houses with metal because wood is increasingly expensive. But we learned that building with bamboo provides an opportunity for artisans to learn carry on traditional knowledge about bamboo, rather than abandon it. The permaculture approach helped us reach out into our community, learn from one another and involve more people around Peace Place. Thank you for encouraging us to reconnect with our tradition, not just as an image, but to learn from and support the details of our skilled artisans.

If we raise $5,000 to complete the library, display area, two guest rooms, and outdoor bathrooms this year, it will save significant restart costs next year. Please donate if you’re able: Friends Peace Teams-AWP, 1001 Park Ave, St. Louis, MO 63104 memo: AWP-Peace Place. Thank you for making this beacon of peace education so vibrant!