Updates from The Area III International Helpers

International travel 

At the beginning of 2020, members of the Area 3 dewan made two visits. In January, one International Helper attended Colombia’s National Congress. In February, four International Helpers went to the Caribbean for a large kejiwaan gathering. We delivered four duffel bags of clothing, children’s books, medicines, and thousands of vegetable seeds to members. We helped re- organize how humanitarian help is distributed and accounted for and supported the training of new helpers.

Overcoming 2020’s challenges

In response to the Covid-19 restrictions, we organized a series of weekly Zoom meetings, one country at a time. We held these with the National Helpers in Argentina, Brazil, Peru, Ecuador, Venezuela, Chile, Colombia, Surinam, Panama, Costa Rica, Mexico, the Caribbean, US, and Canada. In some cases, the National Committees attended too, and we met multiple times with some countries. We participated via Zoom in the Annual General Meetings of Subud Canada, Subud USA and Zone 9.

The main purposes of our meetings were: worshiping God together with simultaneous latihans and testing (always held offline, without Zoom/ phones); answering questions about supporting new applicants during the pandemic; improving dewan/ committee functioning; and giving kejiwaan support for countries to resolve disharmony. We invited members to attend sessions when appropriate.

As a result, the National Helpers in Mexico developed a similar process with all groups there. One country resolved disharmony between the helpers, committee and members. In all countries, we found greater inter- connections between all of us.

The female International Helpers meet with the Zone Representatives monthly. They also do weekly simultaneous latihans with female Brazilian members as there are no national helpers, and now more women are doing latihan regularly.

Supporting the kejiwaan

Area 3 latihans are held twice weekly with good attendance. We sponsored weekly Bapak’s talks screenings for three months, with an average participation of 60+ members. We collaborated with all Zones for the celebration of Bapak’s birthday. The documentary film of Bapak’s life was very well attended.

We have connected well at Zoom gatherings and received very positive feedback from participants. We feel the latihan has deepened in some countries as a result of the pandemic, even though regular gatherings for latihan has been disrupted.

We met regularly on Zoom for latihans and meetings as liaisons for WSA, MSF, SDIA, SYAI, SIHA, Archives, and Care Support.