Origins of Papua Partners
Papua Partners is a remarkable and uniquely effective small charity founded in Westcott in 2006. Naomi and Javier Sosa, the front-line workers in Papua, were married in Holy Trinity Church. Holy Trinity is still Naomi and Javier’s home church and the charity is in large measure funded by the congregation and other local people in Westcott. Papua Partners is now ten years old and the Sosa family has grown to five!
The impact of Papua Partners over ten years
Over the last ten years Naomi and Javier have been walking alongside local indigenous organisations in West Papua, equipping and enabling them to achieve their vision. The first organisation that they started to work with in 2006 was Yasumat, the social foundation of the Evangelical Church of Indonesia (GIDI). When they arrived in Papua, Yasumat had a big vision but was ineffective, had only two part time staff and were very discouraged. With Papua Partners support, they have become one of the leading faith-based social foundations in Papua, having impacted over 100,000 people!
Yasumat was an incubator for Papua Partners to pilot a range of community development approaches. They became a platform to develop culturally relevant tools and techniques for mobilising churches to impact their communities, and most importantly to gain the trust, understanding and confidence of local indigenous people, the Papuan church and cultural leaders.
Some of the achievements realised by Papua Partners with our partners over the last 10 years include:
-Provision of basic education to 8,000 children in remote communities through Yasumat Parallel Schools Programme;
-The setting up of a solar powered Eruwok Community Training Centre in Bokondini which is providing computer skills, handicraft training, as well as training health workers for 20 communities and setting up a 300-Member Savings Group;
-Together with Yasumat, a significant reduction in maternal and child mortality has been achieved through building the skills of over 200 rural health workers in Yahukimo, as well as raising awareness on HIV and AIDS in over 200 communities;
-Improved livelihoods in over 100 communities through small business, livestock production, savings groups and water supply;
-Trained facilitators from 40 churches to implement a Church, Community and Change process which has seen communities start to reconcile disputes, build roads, fix the houses of poorer members and mobilise their youth for community action.
Without the unique accompaniment and mobilisation of Papua Partners, it is unlikely that the changes outlined above would have happened.
Based on lessons learnt and relationships built over ten years in Papua, in early 2016 Naomi and Javier have begun a process to scale up their work to impact other organisations and churches. Papua Partners is now partnering with Yapelin, the Social Foundation at the Synod level of the Evangelical Church of Indonesia, while also starting to develop working relationships with other denominations and organisations.
This will enable them to work throughout Papua impacting many more communities while continuing to work with our current partners.
To get a feel for all the exciting things happening in Papua just go to our web site:-