Asia West Pacific 

Joglo Preschool Exhibition Day for Theme One, Friday August 6, 2019.

By Bungsu and Petrus

Today is Friday 6 August 2019, a super busy day. At 9.30 am the children were busy looking for where their conscience images were hung on a long cloth. The teacher were busy accompanying kids to prepare for the event, while the parents were busy preparing food and arranging the space. This bustle is for the parents and family members to attend the exhibition of children’s work from the theme over the last eight weeks: Creating a Sustainable Culture of Peace.

At 3.00 pm the children and family members has arrived at Peace Place. Both parents and children looked happy. Their faces showed interest. Arfa, Aqela, Dinar, Faro and Kenzie greeted their friends and parents by saying, “Hello. Welcoming to Joglo Preschool. Come this way.” Greeting and building friendships is the first step in the map for nonviolent living. Adults were amazed to see children practice it directly in their lives.

At 3:30 pm the event began. Arfa and Kenzie lead the event for each family group. The first activity was stopping. Stopping has become a habit in our school activities, but this time it was very interesting because it was not only the children, but their family also practiced stopping, letting go and settling down led by two preschoolers!

Next was the opening. We took turns saying our names and choosing a good adjective that starts with the same sound as our name. The children had already selected positive adjective names for themselves and their parents so that almost everyone already had an affirmation name to use. The experience of saying positive words changes the atmosphere to a warmer and more intimate one. Everyone called each other’s names happily.

After that, we enjoyed local food. There was boiled corn, boiled yams, boiled peanuts, boiled bananas, tapai sticky rice and watermelon. We collected the garbage from the food to put in the composter. When Kenzie threw corncobs on the road, Nanik said that corn is an organic waste, but if it is thrown on the road it can disturb people walking. “We want to give food to the cool composter.” Immediately the children knew exactly what to do and did it easily.

Arfa led the group to tour the school and pointed out places and objects in the school along with their affirmation adjectives. There are loving pools (kolam kasih), carefree rockets (roket riang), smart libraries (perpustakaan pintar), friendly homes (rumah ramah), polite schools (sekolah sopan), cool composter (kompos keren) and many more. Then they came to the children’s and teachers’ pictures of conscience and affirmation posters on display on a long cloth running next to a shady mango tree. The children proudly showed their images of conscience to their parents and family. Arfa and Varo led the event by showing some friends’ conscience images and reading the words written on their pictures. They also invited their friends to show their conscience picture. The abstract images felt very strong and drew a lot of attention. Then they passed the affirmation posters in which the children remembered the kindnesses of friends and poured it into posters in the form of writing, drawing and scribbling. The most important part was how the child remembered and brought out the goodness of their friends.

Then everyone gathered under the mango tree in front of the pictures of conscience. Nanik invited the children to sing the song about their agreements. Nanik said that if these agreements were not only for Joglo Preschool, but could be used at home, in the family, or wherever children learn can look after and care for themselves and others.

Two parents told about their experiences supporting their child and what development they had seen. Arfa’s mother, Putri, said that Arfa was a child who liked to help and offered help, volunteering himself. She said it was because the school environment set that example for Arfa. Bidara’s mother, Tika, said that Bidara developed a lot in drawing. Tika believes that when children are not blamed while drawing, children will be better able to pour out their ideas. That’s true not only in drawing. If children are given the opportunity to experience life without being blamed or demeaned, they will also learn a lot and build confidence.

In closing, Nanik advised that the approach to creating a sustainable culture of peace would be stronger if the home and other environments of children supported and participated in introducing a sustainable culture of peace also. At the end of the activity, two children, Bidara and Kenzie, led the prayer before going home.