SIL International Media Release
“SIL, Our Number One Partner”
SIL partners with the people of Papua, Indonesia, to provide a newly-built training center
Indonesia’s Vice-Governor for Papua, Alex Hesegem, cuts the ribbon to open the new training facilities
(September 2006) The dedication of a new 14,000 square foot training center celebrates a major step forward for the people of Papua, Indonesia. At the dedication ceremony the regional Vice-Governor expressed his appreciation of the long and successful relationship that the Indonesian people have with SIL.
As part of the building’s opening ceremonies, the Vice-Governor said, “As the local government’s number one partner, Indonesia is looking to SIL to help provide the people of Papua with the necessary education and skills to move forward—we are proud to be partners with SIL.”
Inside the large training room the crowd listens to the speeches from various government officials and SIL leaders.
In his comments at the building’s dedication, Mike Eastwood, regional director for SIL, said, “This training center was built to help provide dignity to our fellow man.”
Located on five hectares of land, the buildings are near the capital city of Jayapura in the nearby town of Sentani. This new facility will provide classrooms for mother-tongue translators, ethnic minority people of Papua and other Indonesians. Training has already begun in the areas of literacy, computer proficiency, community development, health care, survey and translation. The training will be facilitated by SIL staff, local nongovernmental organizations, local governmental partners as well as others.
Papua is the eastern-most province of Indonesia. Its landscape varies from picturesque sandy beaches, to mangrove swamp covered lowlands, to rugged mountains. There are very few roads, aside from those in the few coastal cities, and transportation is mainly by foot, dugout canoe or small airplane. The mountain range that spans the middle of the province from east to west has peaks that reach up to 16,000 feet, one of which is snow capped year around.
The people of Papua are diverse in language and culture. Current estimates place the number of languages still needing language development at 170 in this Indonesian province.