Participant Introduction – Fung (Myanmar)

“A good leader is one who knows the way, goes the way, and shows the way. They are kind in their actions, merciful in their decisions, and patient in their approach, always striving to uplift and empower those around them.” – as this quote inspired Fung, and he hopes to be of inspiration at ARI. Fung’s community comprises mostly ordinary farmers who use shifting cultivation and slash-and-burn farming as their primary means of livelihood. Most people in the community are illiterate, with only a few educated individuals. Fung has experience … Read more

Participant Introduction – Mary (Liberia)

“My community has one public school, which is overcrowded. Children walk several hours to get to school. Even though the community hosts the hydroelectric power plant and the water treatment plant for the Monrovia metropolitan area, the community does not have purified water nor electricity services.” Mary is all too familiar with these problems in the White Plains community that survives by subsistence farming. As field supervisor at UMRADP farm, she is responsible for planning and supervising all field activities. Rural and semi-rural communities across Liberia are primarily uneducated and … Read more

Participant Introduction – Heley (Liberia)

“What motivates me is my experience with the present situation in our country. Unless we work to become self-supporting, it is practically impossible for us to gain selfhood. This is why I deem it necessary to work with rural community members to produce their food and eat the food they grow.” Helena Koko Ben is a project manager at the Voinjama Free Pentecostal Health Center. Her community is ready to help in times of difficulty. They are open-minded and show respect no matter which culture, religious, economic, political, social, or … Read more

Participant Introduction – Dee(Liberia)

“I grew up in rural communities and understand the diverse daily problems. I want to give back to my community what I have learned. Build a system where other young people can see and follow suit and change dependency syndrome’s mentality to self-realization.” Darkpon Dolokelen (Dee) is a teacher and farmer from Liberia. His community has approximately 5 stick and 56 dirt brick houses. Many people in his community use agriculture as their primary source of living while others engage in small business. His responsibilities at work are teaching theory and … Read more

Participant Introduction – Yohanes (Indonesia)

“Being a leader does not mean having control over others, but rather taking responsibility for their well-being and ensuring that they are cared for and supported.” – Yohannes’s philosophy of leadership was inspired by the president of Indonesia, Joko Widodo.  Kenda village is predominantly Christian. As one that strives for food security and economic advancement, Yohanes is responsible for working with the farming community, which contains like-minded local farmers. His work includes plant propagation and cultivation to improve plant growth, yields, quality, nutritional value, and resistance to insects, diseases, and … Read more

Participant Introduction – Yeni(Indonesia)

“For neither did the Son of Man come to be served. He came to serve and to lay down His life to set many free.” (Mark 10:45), as Yeni describes her drive to serve the people. Yeni and her sending body, HKBP, work in a community of predominantly Christians, but many residents practice a diverse range of spiritual beliefs. Thanks to the support provided by the organization, some of its members engage in organic farming and enjoy a thriving, safe, and healthy environment. The community emphasizes unity and solidarity through … Read more

Participant Introduction – Jontra (Indonesia)

“A strong sense of community fosters a strong desire to improve, individually and collectively.” Jontra has observed that most people in his community engage in agricultural practices involving harmful chemicals, negatively impacting the environment. In his free time, he often meets community members at the local tavern to exchange ideas and has gradually shared his agricultural practices. Jontra spends one and a half hours daily riding his motorcycle between his home and the villages he serves. He is social and has built good relationships with young and older members of … Read more

Participant Introduction – Jakob(Indonesia)

“In the city, you live for yourself. In the village, you live for others.”  Jakob Siringoringo helps Indigenous Peoples utilize their traditional organic farming practices and achieve legal recognition of their traditional land rights. In addition, he works in communication and community mobilizing for AMAN, a national organization promoting Indigenous Peoples rights in Indonesia. The communities he works with in North Sumatra have unique customs and traditional land inherited from their ancestors. Indigenous Peoples are the source of knowledge regarding farming, gardening, and managing forests. However, unfavorable policies lead to … Read more

Participant Introduction – Angel (Indonesia)

“Success is not final; failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts.” Angela shares about her role model Father Bernadus Palus and her will to press on.  Kajong Village, Angela’s birthplace, is a rural community nestled in the Manggarai district of Indonesia, where the inhabitants lead a life centered around spiritual pursuits. Despite being blessed with abundant natural resources, the village is geographically isolated, and the residents need access to education and reject many new ideas. Therefore, Angela’s mission to promote education and economic growth is … Read more

Participant Introduction – Zimik(India)

“In spite of all differences, one of my primary roles is to uphold the oneness and the belongingness of every member of our Rajeshwari Karuna school community.” Zimik Tamreichan has a dual role at Rajeshwari Karuna School, a residential school in Tuli, Nagaland, India.  He is the Chaplain cum Counselor for students and staff and the manager of the school farm. His school is a “mixed community” with diverse ages, cultures, and dialects. They are hardworking, and everyone supports each other. Zimik takes pride in the ways he can provide … Read more