Kusdamayanti is a trainer at Center for Forestry and Education Training (CFET), with eight regional centers under the Ministry of Forestry, Indonesia. She is no stranger to RECOFTC. In fact, she’s the second generation in her family to train here, having heard of the organization from her late father. A veteran of four training programs which have helped build her own capacity as a trainer, Kusdamayanti says: ” RECOFTC’s training’s are relatively short... but they have a long history of conducting training and capacity building. What makes it different is that they give us not just the what, but also the how. As a trainer, it's the how – the method and approach – that is important. This is my fifth training at RECOFTC but every day I learn something new.”
Having trained in conflict management, Kusdamayanti is very keen on the participatory approach to learning. Encouraged by RECOFTC to develop her own training program, she recalls some members of her class were “complaining about the method on the first day, but by the fifth day, the results were wonderful. I was able to encourage participants to learn about participatory methods, to discuss it and to practice it. They said they were very happy to have that experience. Even today, participants often say, “Ma’am, what we learned has been very useful to me.”
“As trainers, the participatory method helps to develop our own capacity …and RECOFTC also gives me a network by attending the course. For example, after the conflict management training, I was invited by a state company in forestry that had their own training center.” Kusdamayanti was invited not once but four times, demonstrating the high value placed on the skills she developed with RECOFTC.
Agus, a lecturer who trains at the national and regional level for the Center for Forestry and Education Training, Indonesia, is an old alumnus who has returned to RECOFTC several times over the years to hone his own skills as a trainer. Asked about his views on RECOFTC’s training program, he replied: “RECOFTC has expert knowledge in capacity building, especially in the field of Community Forestry, to increase the empowerment of local people. For example, RECOFTC has a project in Sulawesi, Indonesia, where they were working collaboratively with a local university in Pandai District (in the south of Sulawesi) to develop the country’s first forest village as well as a community forest near Pandai.
"Now these people are managing their forests – I’ve been there and seen how happy they are to manage their own forests because they’re really benefiting. In this village forest, they have an agro-forestry project so they can harvest the wood, coffee, and other plants while replanting trees, coffee and banana." He appreciates learning “how to develop trainings and how to deliver them – it’s good for us, planning and deciding on methods of training. Actually, RECOFTC’s agro-forestry and conflict training was very useful for me; I can use this in my trainings with others.”
Like all good trainers, Agus is constantly adapting his training to meet audience needs: “There are barriers caused by different cultures, tribes, so there are different needs, “ he says. Being able to meet them successfully sometimes results in institutional changes in training programs, resulting in higher demand. “In terms of teaching methodologies, the level of participation in CFET is higher, even in the field – communities now have a better understanding of rural or social forestry. They realize the importance of forests not only for [day to day] living but as an investment in the future.”