The younger generation is often considered to represent the future; they bring new ideas that can engender change, they bring enthusiasm and vitality; leading to new discoveries and developments that can benefit society. Unfortunately, young people’s voices are still not well represented in various countries - especially Indonesia. We believe that youth forums are the best platform for young people to connect and speak for themselves.
Since being launched on 2nd April 2016, Youth Act Campaign has been published via UNICEF GLOBAL France (2017) white paper and MTV News (2018), launched in Jakarta (GLF Jakarta 2017 & Ministry of Forestry & Environment 2019), California via WEA (2018), Australia via Green Communities (2018) and Japan via UN-REDD Program GLF Kyoto (2019). Through offline campaigns, YA has visited over 50 schools, universities and communities in Indonesia - engaging over 7,000 young people, while reaching over 4 million people worldwide online.
Along with elevating our advocacy work on international platforms, we commit to scale up our impact at the grass root level through youth forums, video showcases and discussions.
During the Kuching Indigenous Film Festival in Malaysia on July 10th, we conducted a youth forum on the topic of Youth Activism and Climate Action. The forum brought together 30 youths, filmmakers, and Indigenous activists, with the goal of sharing knowledge about general issues in Borneo, making new connections and finding solutions for the social and environmental problems faced by Indigenous communities.
Highlights from the discussions include:
We can use technology to address issues in our community through documentation and raising awareness of issues. We can also utilize technology to promote our culture and traditions through eco-tourism.
It is highly important to involve young people in our movement to preserve and protect our community. We can make fun, enjoyable and meaningful events to engage young people - such as music or cultural festivals. We can also use social media to advocate and address issues.
We must build a network or alliance with other grass root movements to strengthen our own movement and walk together hand-in-hand to solve similar issues in our communities.
“After I listened to the stories of my sister about the oppression that they have been experiencing in West Papua, I feel connected to her because we also experience the same thing in India. We fight the same fight; colonialism and imperialism, although we are from two different places in this world”. Surya Shankar