Wadah Foundation supports a community in Ambon, which is under the management and assistance of Rumah Wadah Ambon. One of Rumah Wadah Ambon’s activities is to manage a Learning Center that functions as a community activity center – where people share information, learn together, and carry out community empowerment activities. As a community center, Wadah Ambon Learning Center has a program that aims to improve the ability and welfare of its community. One of them is In-House Training Creative Writing (IHT Creative Writing), which is carried out serially. February is filled with actitivites in learning how to write, how to motivate oneself to write, and how to write life motivational stories. Following the training, participants were given a writing challenge for seven days.
At first, the participants were confused about what to write because they were not familiar with the writing process. A participant expressed her problem with writing, namely not having enough confidence, as she felt that her writing was not interesting for others to read or that there was something wrong with her writing. Every time she sent a post in WhatsApp Groups, none of the group members responded, which made her reluctant to continue writing.
Wadah Ambon Learning Center, as a community center, is there to provide knowledge and help increase confidence in participants to want to write. The IHT Creative Writing program was attended by 13 participants, consisting of Mamas who are housewives, and who hold other posts as activists in various community activities, namely Posyandu Cadres, Pre-school Teachers, and data officers (updating voter information).Their writings were collected in a shared learning forum.
The program began by giving each participant the opportunity to start writing about their daily activities, using their own style of language and writing. Each participant was assisted to write whatever is being thought, felt, and experienced. Afterwards, participants were expected to be able to envision words and pour them into a piece of writing. The facilitators helped the participants by using the 5W+1H formula to make the writing process easier, which applied the questions of ‘what,’ ‘why,’ ‘where,’ ‘when,’ ‘who,’ and ‘how.’ All participants were invited to consider writing a medium or place for telling stories, with the concept of “Writing as if we were talking to other people” and writing it simply.
It did not stop there, as the activity continued with evaluations of the writing completed. All participants were directed to evaluate a piece of writing and evaluate whether it can be understood and can motivate others. The evaluation process aims to enable the participants to not only have a mindset and viewpoint as writers, but also as readers. This will allow them to produce writing that is better, clearer, and easier for readers to understand.
The participants then re-wrote their stories with, in mind, the tips given by the previous facilitator. Through intense writing activities, the participants will grow an increasing sense of ease where writing will naturally continue. These writing activities greatly increased their knowledge and enthusiasm in writing. The program resulted in 100 articles published in the writing learning forum. The participants became enthusiastic about writing because it was used as a way to vent or heal. The facilitators also better understood the living conditions of the participants without having to ask them directly. All posts published in the WhatsApp group will be made into a book.
The participants became more motivated about writing and said that they felt comfortable writing because they thought that it could be a way for them to share. The participants revealed that since they were doing writing activities intensely, their time could be used more efficiently. There were even some participants who started writing poetry, which always inspired those who read them.
The existence of the Ambon Learning Center currently has quite a positive impact on the surrounding community. This IHT Creative Writing activity has motivated the community to write and carry out activities more productively, especially for the 13 participants. Each participant made use of the IHT Creative Writing program as impactful training, where they continued to train and accustom themselves with making writing a positive habit. With the habit of writing, the outpouring of the heart will hit the target precisely and relieve the writer’s heart.
Author: Wahyuning Ndraha
Editor: Ghewa Yohanes