West Papua, Indonesia
Following the review of all of the international mission partnerships at the Annual Presbytery and Synod meeting in October 2015, it was decided to: Maintain a Partnership relationship with Gereja Kristen Injili Di Tanah Papua (Evangelical Christian Church In The Land Of Papua (GKI) via the principal framework and projects managed by Uniting World and directly through limited congregationally driven activities with a major focus on supporting educational activities and building relationships.
by Mya Pwo, UnitingWorld
Tears speak louder than words
While I was recently in West Papua on my first field trip with UntingWorld, I had a unique opportunity to meet with our partner, the Evangelical Christian Church in the Land of Papua and visit their P3W project (short for Pusat Pembinaan dan Pengembangan Wanita).
P3W is the Training and Development Centre for Women in West Papua and it aims to empower ans support women in remote and rural areas. Founded in 1962, the centre today has three regional offices comprising four units: Education and Training; Research, Documentation, Information and Publication; Counselling and Income Generation. With the help of 30 staff and 12 field workers, the centre currently has 30 projects and activities running. One of these projects is “The Livelihoods Project” (link to project page), which UnitingWorld is supporting. It trains women in the highlands to understand the potential resources of their land and supports them to grow crops, in particular soya beans to produce tofu and tempeh.
UCA SA congregations and the good people at St Andrew’s Opportunity Shop raised funds to support the purchase of a Biak boat in support of our partnership.
The World Council of Churches (WCC) Executive Committee recently issued a statement expressing concern over the escalation of violence in Tanah Papua, Indonesia. They urged the Indonesian authorities to stop the killings of civilians at the hands of armed forces and protect the rights of Papuan people.
Papua is the easternmost province of Indonesia Unlike most Indonesians, indigenous Papuans are Melanesian and the vast majority are Christian. Papua only became part of Indonesia in the 1960's when it was annexed to Indonesia. The Papuan people were given an opportunity to decide whether they wanted to be a part of Indonesia in the "Act of Free Choice" in 1969, something which remains controversial to this day with allegations of intimidation and harassment. Many Papuans refute this decision and there have been various independence movements, which have been met with military crackdowns. Allegations of human rights abuses are rife and the rising loss of life is concerning. Since 1963, an estimated 100,000 Papuans have died as a result of the activities of the armed forces and the militias.
“We can’t remain silent anymore” Below is some background information to help us pray for our bothers and sisters in Papua. Childrens resources SA (1) (2 mb PDF) Messy Church session SA (1) (613 kb PDF) PERS Release Papua 2011 English (124 kb PDF) Human Rights in Papua 2010 2011 FI FBN AHRC (8 kb PDF) KWI statement on Papua 2011 (123 kb PDF) videofootage youtube (91 kb PDF)
Below is some background information to help us pray for our bothers and sisters in Papua.
Childrens resources SA (1) (2 mb PDF)
Messy Church session SA (1) (613 kb PDF)
PERS Release Papua 2011 English (124 kb PDF)
Human Rights in Papua 2010 2011 FI FBN AHRC (8 kb PDF)
KWI statement on Papua 2011 (123 kb PDF)
videofootage youtube (91 kb PDF)
Uniting World Relief and Development operate livelihood programs through the GKI Department of Diakonia. Meanwhile, Uniting World Church Connections is committed to supporting advocacy work through the GKI Justice, Peace and Integrity of Creation Unit.
A significant focus of the Partnership is supported educational programs through I.S. Kijne Theological College and Ottow and Geissler University (both operated by the GKI) and health projects through the GKI Department of Diakonia. Connections with the university involve support for English language programs and the provision of resources (books, IT etc). Support for health programs come through a focus on the development of a clinic of Numfor Island (funded by groups such as the International Mission Op Shop based at St Andrews by the Sea Uniting Church Glenelg) and a focus on the diagnosis and care of HIV/AIDS patients through a clinic In Yoka, near Jayapura (funded by projects such as the Waikerie Dried Fruits Project led by Jennie Hosking).
The Presbytery & Synod of South Australia has been active in relating to the GKI for some years now.