Early Experience at Peace Volunteer Centre

written by Tajuddin



At first, I saw a friend’s post regarding the recruitment of Dream Teachers at a humanitarian agency called Peace Volunteer Centre (Rumah Relawan Remaja). But during 2018, I found it very difficult to pass the various tests that had been prepared. This year, I took another look at the information I previously saved regarding the recruitment of Dream Teacher 2021-2022. Even so, I did not immediately send my biodata and registration form, I waited until the last day of receiving the files.

I got further information from Whatsapp to take part in the interview selection because it has gone through the file selection. Fortunately, the interview selection was carried out via google meet, for applicants from outside Banda Aceh. I finally met virtually with Kak Ammy and Bang Nanda, whom I previously saw through the 3R Youtube account with the title “Answering Questions about Recruiting Dream Village Library Volunteers for the 2020-2021 Period.”

On the day of the interview, to be precise on Saturday, September 4, 2021, at 09.30 WIB, at one of the regular coffee shops in Panton Labu City, a Whatsapp message came in “Hi de, is the interview ready?” I replied, “I’m still on wifi. Already sis.” The interview was filled with various questions from the two 3R representatives. There are questions about leadership, caring for the environment, differences and other themes that make me think a lot.

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Saturday, September 18, 2021

On this fresh Saturday morning, I started with a morning shower and breakfast together that became a routine at 3R. Alhamdulillah, so far I am very happy, although sometimes I like to be late. This is of course a process of being in a disciplined but still “polite reminder” setting.

The initial activity after breakfast, the other volunteers and I rushed to the library on the 2nd floor which became the meeting room to sign a year-long Employment Contract. This agenda was led directly by Kak Ammy as 3R Chair person.

After signing the contract, we entered the Curriculum Orientation session which began with an Introduction to the 3Rs. In this session, we gained an understanding that 3R is not just a community with various social programs but a simple concept of living by promoting peace and justice. We also get an understanding that the structure in 3R is circular, where the volunteers are in a circle. This may be different in most organizations where the organizational structure is pyramidal.

In addition to the introduction of 3Rs and the Dream Village Library, the Curriculum Orientation was also filled with various materials presented by 3R volunteers as well as supporting materials such as Storytelling Techniques, Creative Writing and Child Development Psychology. In these early weeks too, interaction with friends continued. The interaction could sometimes tickle me to the point of laughing out loud, sometimes it also embarrassed me.


* * *

On September 28-30 2021, at 15:25, we headed to Mount Seulawah. This hike was a Physical Orientation activity. We walked from the last place to park the pick up in Saree. After a few hours of passing through the community’s garden area to enter the Mount Seulawah Agam area, we set up a tent after passing a sign that said Welcome to the Door of the Jungle.

I felt so happy, because this is the first experience of adventuring on Mount Seulawah Agam whose name has been immortalized as the name of the first airplane in Indonesia, namely RRI 001 Seulawah Agam.

All impressions of that day I wrote in the tent. After that, I also joined friends outside the tent who were lighting a bonfire for the warmth and safety of our camp environment. For me, it was a lot of fun. Moreover, I was also invited by Wali ( my friend) to look for firewood. Furthermore, discussions of various themes ensued, including the advice not to lie, no matter how small.

* * *

The trip on the second day at Mount Seulawah Agam continued (29/9). Pintu Angin, which used to have no small trees, became our resting place during the day. In front of the wind gate, you can see Mount Cempaga which accompanies Seulawah Agam. Then, in the afternoon, it started to rain. The journey continues. However, after considering it, we took a break and opened our tent in the expand area located before the Stone Stairs. After the next day (30/9), then we continued our ascent to the summit of Mount Seulawah Agam. Masha Allah, it’s really an honor to be a part of this climb.

Another highlight during the hike was Salam, a 3-year-old who accompanied us on our trip. Another interesting thing is the joy of being active with Bang Romi and Bang Ihsan who are very experienced, but do not show seniority.

Even though I had toppled over twice because the branch I stepped on was fragile, I learned a lot of things. In addition to learning leadership, this Physical Orientation taughme and other friends about leadership, which can also be grown from being tired but still able to work together, about time management and environmental conservation. By the way, I also have a phobia of climbing mountains because I am afraid of being suffocated by the air. Thank God, the fear did not happen.

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