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Integrated Community Training

Sustainability in Ownership

Parable of the Mumu

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On the last day of our visit to Lisimokuka, our little paradise in the hills of Goroka, Mama made a remark. “You have your house and your stones, why go somewhere else to make the mumu?”

She was telling us to work with what we have.

A mumu (or umu or hungi, depending on where you come from) is a feast in anyone's language. To make one, you dig a hole, heat some rocks, and bury the hot rocks with your food where they slowly bake or steam the meal. Everyone who comes brings something to contribute, each according to their ability. Someone might bring some vegies, another might bring some firewood, and someone may contribute some chooks or a pig, and everyone chips in to prepare it.

And nobody goes away empty handed. So we thought, 'why stop with food'?

What if we could create training opportunities and apply this principle? People contributing to a mumu come as equals, and come because they want to be there. And it is in the sharing of experiences that communities grow. What if we bring our skills and experiences, and tell people what we can offer. Someone can bring the wood, another can bring the food, and we can all sit down together and share.

This is how Integrated Community Training was born.