From February 16 to February 21, 2015, UPC held a workshop for preparing the establishment of a Community Organization school in Parung, Bogor. The workshop was attended by UPC activists and representatives of community-based organizations (OR) in multiple towns who had been organizing communities with UPC.
The idea of establishing a UPC Community Organizing School came from the need of several organizations to have qualified staffs as Community Organizers (COs) who will be organizing communities in their working areas. JALA PRT , one of those organizations focusing on the advocacy of domestic workers (PRT), urgently needs one or more COs to organize domestic worker communities in several cities.
Wardah as Facilitator of the workshop
On top of that, there is the need to improve the capability and skill of COs working for UPC or for community-based organizations that have been in network with UPC. This school will give the means to a systematic and long term education. Another goal of this school is to help the fundraising of UPC.
The workshop for preparing this CO School aimed to prepare the COs from UPC and community-based organizations to become facilitators or mentors when the students of the school undergo field practice.
The 6 days workshop was divided into two parts. The first part of the workshop was attended by UPC activists only and was facilitated by Wiladi Budiharga and Wardah Hafidz. The second part of the workshop was attended by representatives from various mass organizations and was facilitated by UPC activists. The first part of the workshop attended by UPC activists strived to reflect on what have been done by COs. It was started with the question “What is your dream or what motivates you so that you choose to be a CO and remain so till now?” and then followed by other questions “What events or what are the things that make you proud or dissappointed while being a CO? What are the factors causing those events or things?” The questions were answered with a picture of a river of life. The river was twisting and turning, with every twist and turn marked an important event, either dissappointing or satisfying, and the dream harbored by each UPC activist was at the end of the river .
presentation from Herri on his dream & river of life
After the drawing was finished, each participant presented his/her picture. From each presentation, factors deemed important by a CO in order to succeed in his/her activities or programs were concluded€. Those are the factors that should be realized and made into materials for future CO school or education.
The second part of the workshop, which was attended by representatives of community-based organizations, used the same method. Each participant was asked to make a picture of a river of life based on his/her answers on the questions about dream, satisfying or dissappointing events while working as COs, and factors allowing those events to happen.
From the pictures of river of life, one finds out what knowledge, skill, or basic attitude and values necessary for community organizing or advocacy works to succeed. For example, knowledge about rules and regulations, ability to convince people, skills to facilitate meeting, to negotiate, and to recruit new members, came up as answers. Those basic CO knowledge, skills, and values have to be possessed and developed by both UPC as well as community-based organization activists, so that their cause can be achieved and dreams can be realized.
The last day of workshop was used to make a follow-up plan in the form of 3-months workplan that were then divided into different groups of programs with the general pupose of sharpening and deepening the basic knowledge, skill, and attitude of COs. For example, the participants made a plan to start to greet, talk, and convince at least 5 neighbors a day to get involved in the activities of an existing mass organization and they also made a plan to organize a discussion as well as knowledge building once a week in every town.