In Myanmar, Asian Farmers and Fisherfolks Practice “Action Learning”

Deliberation is the basis for action learning method. (photo: Chaerul Umam)

Deliberation is the basis for action learning method. (photo: Chaerul Umam)

Nay Pyi Taw, BINADESA.ORG- Dozens of representatives of farmers and fishermen from AsiaDHRRA network (The Development of Human Resources in Rural Areas) which consists of Thailand, Laos, Cambodia, Philippines, Malaysia, Vietnam, Indonesia, Taiwan, and South Korea, and Japan gathered in the new capital of Myanmar, Nay Pyi Taw. For three days from September 15-17, 2016 they conduct regional training on Action Learning. Bina Desa, Inong Meutani Union Aceh Barat (SIMAB), Serikat Nelayan Indonesia/ Indonesia Fisherfolks Union (SNI) was present as representatives of Indonesia.This activity is a follow up of the meeting AsiaDHRRA in Yogyakarta in May 2016. Dr. Kim Mijeong of human resource development institutions Multicampus, South Korea was present as speaker and facilitator of activities.

This activity is a follow up of the meeting AsiaDHRRA in Yogyakarta in May 2016. Dr. Kim Mijeong of human resource development institutions Multicampus, South Korea was present as speaker and facilitator of activities.
According Mardiah, Coordinator of Education and Organization/Rural Schools (Sepeda) Bina Desa, this activity aims to introduce action learning methods that can be used in building the capacity of organizations in identifying problems in their communities and in solving the issue with members of the community. This method is a form of sustainable empowerment in the ever-changing era because without the ability to learn, the community will suffer a great loss and are not able to survive the changes that occur.

In the rural community organization, action learning can complement action-reflection-action methods which has been the basis of the learning process that is consistent in building rural community. One implementation of action learning is Saemaul Undong movement in South Korea. “Saemaul Undong was able to be an engine for change for Korea which was a former colony to become a developed country who is able to align the level of development between urban and rural area,” uttered Dr. Mijeong.

Participants of the training methods of action learning received certificates. (photo: Chaerul Umam)

Participants of the training methods of action learning received certificates. (photo: Chaerul Umam)

Regarding Undong Saemaul’s success in Korea, according to Bina Desa’s experiences over the last forty years, such movements exist in communities in Indonesia, especially in rural areas in the shape of the spirit of mutual assistance or “gotong royong.” However, since the 1970’s and after the 1998 crisis, the approach to developmentalism and agriculture with the green revolution increasingly arose. This approach was based on growth in combination with the liberalization resulted in the waning spirit of mutual help and solidarity among communities in Indonesia.

On this occasion, one of the participants from the women farmers union SIMAB, Cut Mala Dewi, asserted that the material presented in this training strengthen her ability to analyze problems and find solutions more systematically and to answer the root of the problems. Similar thing was expressed by Secretary General of SNI Budi Laksana who was also one of the participants from Indonesia, “We pick traditional fishing issues in SNI region as the theme so we can to identify problems and seek solution.” The issues of traditional fisherfolks in Indonesia, just like problems of small-scale farmers, are extremely complex, especially when related to its dependence on the middlemen, fishing gear mastery, and fishing regions.

Seeing the potentials in supporting the process of organizing the rural communities, Bina Desa hope that this method can be applied in compliance with Indonesia, especially at the level of small-scale farmers, women farmers, and traditional fishermen communities. “Bina Desa has set the stages in the implementation of action learning methods at the community level, one with adjusting modules used with the actual conditions in Indonesia in order to obtain a greater impact,” Mardiah hoped (###)

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