Non-Violent Study Circles - Julia Novrita

Julia Novrita and two other alumnae of IFP Ford Foundation established Inspiring Development (InDev), an NGO based in Ambon, to address problems student involvement in violence. InDev offers training programs to equip students with peace and non-violence values and skills in managing conflict creatively.

InDev began at Pattimura State University in Ambon, Maluku, which has dark history of civil war between Muslim and Christian communities. InDev designed a five-session program called “Non Violent Study Circles” (NVSC) in response to violent student demonstrations in 2010 and 2011. We started in 2011 with a program called “Sustaining Peace from Campus to Community” which now has more than 200 alumnae, one-third of whom are still active in organizing activities on and off campus. They recruit the next generation for the program and initiated the “Save Ambon Bay Movement” as part of their peacebuilding agenda. In addition to NVSC program, we also encourage them to attend various workshops and conferences for their professional development.


In May 2015, InDev received a small grant from Lisle International to expand this program in Makassar, South Sulawesi Province. With a new title, “Gen Peace: I am the Change!” this 6 day training program was hosted by Hasanuddin State University and attended by 30 students from 8 higher education institutions.   Unexpectedly, in June 2015, InDev’s project proposal submitted to the United Nations Alliance of Civilizations was funded to implement the program in eight provinces within the next four months, using a new name “Gen Peace: We are the Change!” with the mission “Promoting Peace from Campus to Community”.  My second week of summer break was spent supervising the start up of this program.


The rest of my summer break was spent doing team consolidation with the active alumnae of NVSC since they will be the key implementers of the new project.


To date, we have implemented the program in Ambon, Kupang, Manokwari, Poso and Ternate. The remaining three provinces, Aceh, Mamuju and Makassar will be implemented in October 2015. It is expected that by the end of this project, more than 200 students representing more than 30 higher education institutions from 8 provinces of Indonesia will be connected to each other with one spirit of “Learning, sharing, networking” for one mission “Promoting peace from campus to community”.