Asia West Pacific – January 2019

Building a Culture of Peace through Parents of Miftahul Huda Preschool

Tondomulyo Village, Jakenan, Pati, Central Java, Indonesia

By Petrus

The Miftahul Huda Foundation is currently supporting 72 preschool children and 85 primary school children in the Ibtidaiyah Madrasah. Although plagued with violence in the past, these new experiences have made them enthusiastic about building a peaceful society. Their elder, Sunhadi, first attended AVP in 2008, which they finally chose as the school’s approach to building a culture of peace in Tondomulyo.

Sunhadi began to introduce AVP in the his family slowly. In 2010, his wife, Zumrotun, joined a training at Peace Place in Pati.

In 2010, AVP was introduced to the children. In 2018, there are now five teachers who have become AVP facilitators. These five new facilitators held peace activities with the theme “Knowing Yourself and Others” on the 15th of December for thirteen parents and on the 17th of December for 26 parents. The activities lasted for two hours using the Agenda: Welcome & Silence; Opening: Name and one thing I hope from this workshop; Getting to Know the AVP Approach; Light & Lively: Big Wind Blows, Reflection and Closing.

In the reflection, a participant reflected on the opening silence, “It turned out that when I was silence I was awakened to the meaning of life. There was a desire to cry when I was quiet because there are some directions to breathe in, let go and feel your heartbeat. I was listening to directions about being grateful for this life given by God. This awakened in me what it means to be grateful for life.”

At the session to learn about the AVP approach, they divided into four groups to discuss our understandings of what the points below meant:

An approach to nonviolent living:

  • There is good in everyone.
  • Everyone’s journey and life experience are different.
  • Learning from experience and reflection, from life experiences, not lectures.
  • Appreciate similarities and differences.
  • Personal change in private and public life.
  • Everyone offers and receives input.

For the Big Wind Blows game we asked to them to share their daily activities at home when with their children. Examples were:

  • Pray before eating with the child …
  • At home praying Sholat with the family …
  • Brush your teeth before going to bed …
  • Have friends of different faiths …

In their reflection they said that they were aware of the importance of daily activities carried out with children. Some said this helped the see that they needed to care more about their children. Also, they also said that it was not normal for them to talk in front of many people, but now they must learn to speak.