Why Small Things Matter

written by Amanda Ramaningrum, Content Writer at Project Child Indonesia

Nowadays, the development of technology has made us live in a faster way, especially in this pandemic, where digitalization is more common. Every day, we explore and connect through our social media, getting any information easily. We share, and we see. Of course, besides all of the advantages, there is also the negative effect that occurs in our society. Have you ever felt small when seeing other’s great achievements? Or have you felt unproductive whenever you remember how much others had made their ‘big thing’? Then, you will be overwhelmed with thoughts about what the big thing I could make to give a big impact, like others?

Well, the grass is always greener on the other side. The certain feeling when you find your friends or random people on the internet have done so many things to contribute to society is understandable. You saw them help poor children in Kenya, and after seeing that you feel the urgency to help poor children too. You saw one of your friends join volunteers to teach the children from victims of natural disasters in Thailand, and then you feel the want to help those children too. We don’t say that it was a bad thing. Having the ambition to grow, especially to make an impact is a good thing, indeed. But the reason why you are doing that must be changed. We often do those several things to search for validation from others. When we see another ‘big catch’, we are eager to reach that as soon as possible. Better you know, this behavior led us to ignore small things. 

Society standards are the ones we can blame for this situation. Young people are always pushed to make a big impact, and it makes us look only at the big things. We undervalued and unappreciated small moments, small achievements, and small acts. Let them go pass by and refuse to do them. Great things don’t happen without small things. It happens with a series of small things and is not done by impulse. Small things matter.

You may not believe it, but actually, every little thing we do matters and can have an impact. We are just afraid to take a simple step, because we’re worried too much about others’ expectations. Many of us often think like this, “I am not that good like them”  or “They’re so great. I am nothing compared to them”. We unconsciously underestimate our own ability while the fact is everyone can do good, and when you do good, it means you’ve made an impact on yourself and your surroundings.

Do small things to your surroundings (and society!)

That big thing you want to achieve for yourself is actually never about you in the first place. It will be the result of serving others. Celebrate small wins. This may be awkward for you who rarely do this, but really, small compliments can be very meaningful. No one knows your small act can affect someone’s life drastically. Say thank you to the waitress who is serving you at the cafe. Appreciate your teammate’s work.  Also, looking for random acts of kindness you can do for others is sometimes the best way to remember the value of small things.

Big changes always start with small things. The same is true for society; in order for social reform to occur, we must first look at and address minor issues. It is our responsibility as members of the next generation to create a better society. When we do small things together, big things happen faster, and society reforms. So, what is the smallest thing you can do to help?  Well, as I said before, we can do good. You can start by doing something as simple as donating. A single penny of yours could benefit a large number of people outside. Not only that, but we can also start with different things, such as helping directly through volunteer activities. 

As one of the non-government organizations in Indonesia, Project Child Indonesia (PCI) continues their strive to help children getting a better education and save the environment through programs such as Sekolah Sungai and Online Learning Assistants (OLA).  Starting from a mission to help the children in the poor riverside and beachside community, this contribution has turned into a big thing when PCI has succeeded in reaching more than 80 children to get better educational facilities through their programs. 

Seeing this good result, we want these programs to continue to help and reach more children in those communities. If you want to join us and make a small contribution to help these children, you can join our volunteer programs, or help with a little donation through our website. 

Remember a good thing you do today matters. Everyone can do good, and you don’t have to wait to do good because we can always make a difference, even in a small way. 

References

Shankle, Melanie. 2017. Why the Small Things Matter. Retrieved from https://www.success.com/why-the-small-things-matter/

Sambaris, Barrie. 2018. The Small Things That Truly Matter. Retrieved from https://artplusmarketing.com/the-small-things-that-truly-matter-958156fa8f69

Goke, Niklas. 2020. If You Can’t Do Big Things for Yourself, Do Small Things for Others. Retrieved from https://link.medium.com/jgS12fi2Jib

The Significance of Women’s Equality Day (and How We Can Celebrate It!)

By Arlenea Halyda, Content Writer Intern at Project Child Indonesia

Did you know that August 26th is a momentous day in gender equality history?

Before we dive into August 26th significance, let’s take a peek into its history first to understand better where we came from.

Gender inequality is an issue that we as women have struggled with, as far as history goes. This is a problem because equality is a social, economic, and political imperative and should not be a debatable issue—it should be something we’ve already been bestowed upon, as it is our right as humans to be treated with decency. And yet, throughout history, the disparity between women and men in all facets of life stays horrendously alarming.

August 26th, however, is a day of joy. This day in 1920, Secretary of State Bainbridge Colby signed a petition that granted American women’s right to vote, concluding the century-long battle over women’s equality in America. This occurrence then leads Congresswoman Bella Abzug of New York to declare August 26th as Women’s Equality Day.

But why is Women’s Equality Day so important? What makes it an epochal event that’s to be celebrated annually?

Well, for starters, Women’s Equality Day is a beacon of hope. It’s a ray of optimism amidst our dark history, a lighthouse shining through the haze of oppression and injustice that says, ‘We are here, and you are not alone in this fight.’ Although the hard-fought battle for women’s equality is still far from over, this day signifies a tremendous leap towards a more inclusive society where men and women can stand as equals, as we were meant to be.

Recognizing the importance of Women’s Equality Day lets us, the younger generation, honor the women who fought before us. It eternalizes the memories of our predecessors’ struggles as they secure a brighter future and a form of gratitude as we realize that we wouldn’t be where we are without them.

So what does this mean for us?

As a generation of youth, we have a duty to continue this fight towards equality. Commemorating this day is a nod to our past heroes that we appreciate their efforts and that we will persist, accept the torch they passed onto us, and carry on with what they started. Surely we cannot let their hurdles be wasted in vain.

With all that being said, here are a few ways to celebrate women’s existence and take another step towards gender equality. You can do this in honor of Women’s Equality Day, but given that change comes with constant progress, I encourage you to do this year-round, too!

Acknowledge Women’s Achievements

How often have women invented something remarkable, yet her name goes unnoticed in history? There are far too many instances of women’s exemplary achievements being swept under the rug simply because of their gender. This is incredibly damaging, as it diminishes women’s accomplishments and dims women’s representation in the world.

You can help reduce this issue by sharing your female friend’s or colleague’s achievements! Support your colleague’s work and highlight their strength, post your friend’s milestones on social media. Please give them the recognition they deserve. Let their presence be seen, let their voices be heard.

Uplift Your Girl Friends (and Girlfriends!)

Women (and men) need to band together to fight our common enemy: the patriarchy. While the patriarchy as a system wouldn’t be so easy to abolish, we can slowly destroy its foundations, little by little, by uplifting women in our daily lives. This can be done by empowering fellow women and looking out for each other. Practice compassion, and hear what they have to say.

Educate Yourself

Educate yourself, because after all, changes start with you. If no accessible formal education or training works on this issue, you can educate yourself by reading books on gender equality. This is amazing for us to have an outlook on different women’s lives and experiences. Here are a few book recommendations:

  • Women, Race, and Class by Angela Davis
  • Invisible Women: Exposing Data Bias in a World Designed for Men by Caroline Criado-Perez
  • We Should All Be Feminists by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

For Those Who Identifies as a Male: Be a Good Ally

To those privileged enough not to be affected by gender inequality, I implore you to be a good ally. Protect women, not just because they’re your mother or sister, but simply because she’s a person, above whatever role a woman holds in your life—a living human being with a soul who deserves to be treated with respect. If you spot anyone making sexist remarks, or showcasing predatory behaviors, call them out on it. Don’t stay silent. Use your voices well.

To conclude… Happy Women’s Equality Day to all who identify as a woman. The world we live in right now is not yet the perfect utopia we dreamed of, and there is still much work to be done. But I believe, one day, we’ll get there. No matter our gender identities, I believe we can stand together and fight inequality, one step at a time.

To end this article, I would like to share a quote by the wonderful author, Ursula K. Le Guin. This quote rattled my bones and inspired me to get up and fight the patriarchy with my bare hands, so I hope it can inspire you as well.

I know that many men and even women are afraid and angry when women do speak, because in this barbaric society when women speak truly, they speak subversively—they can’t help it: if you’re underneath, if you’re kept down, you break out, you subvert. We are volcanoes. When women offer our experience as our truth, as human truth, all the maps change. There are new mountains.

That’s what I want—to hear you erupting. You young Mount St. Helenses who don’t know the power in you—I want to hear you.”

— Ursula K. Le Guin

Reference

[1]http://werehistory.org/womens-equality-day/

[2]https://time.com/4459168/womens-equality-day-bella-abzug/

[3]https://constitutioncenter.org/blog/why-august-26-is-known-as-womans-equality-day 

[4]https://www.forbes.com/sites/shelleyzalis/2017/08/26/why-womens-equality-day-is-so-important/?sh=2a06335283c7

[5]https://www.hindustantimes.com/more-lifestyle/women-s-equality-day-2020-history-significance-and-all-you-need-to-know/story-RfPkMQvTk4Fwr1SAj634FK.html 

[6]https://www.nbcnews.com/know-your-value/feature/women-s-equality-day-why-it-matters-how-you-can-ncna903786

Memaknai Kemerdekaan Sebagai Pemuda

Written by Nathaniel Alvino Risa Prima, Content Writer Intern at Project Child Indonesia 

Pemuda masih acap kali dipandang sebelah mata oleh karena alasan usia, minimnya pengalaman, dan clash perspektif dengan generasi-generasi pendahulunya. Padahal, menilik sejarah di belakang, pemuda memiliki peranan signifikan termasuk dalam penentuan nasib bangsa dan negara. Tanpa semangat dan kelakuan ‘nekat’ para pemuda, mungkin tidak akan pernah ada peristiwa bersejarah “penculikan Rengasdengklok” yang pada akhirnya memprovokasi para pendiri bangsa untuk menyatakan kemerdekaan lewat upacara proklamasi 17 Agustus 1945. Pramoedya Ananta Toer, seorang maestro sastra Indonesia, secara gamblang menggambarkan  representasi anak muda Indonesia yang revolusioner, dalam tetralogi-nya Pulau Buru, lewat seorang protagonis fenomenal bernama “Minke”. Ya, mungkin lebih ramai khalayak yang justru mengenal tokoh ini lewat figurasi Iqbaal Ramadhan dalam adaptasi layar lebar Bumi Manusia besutan Hanung Bramantyo. Melalui sosok Minke, Pram – begitu Pramoedya biasa disapa – menuliskan ulang bagaimana pemikiran-pemikiran revolusioner (modern) merasuk alam pikiran anak muda dan justru menginisiasi perubahan-perubahan besar di sebuah negeri yang terjajah.

Studi oleh Badan Pusat Statistik (BPS) mendefinisikan pemuda sebagai mereka yang lahir di rentang tahun 1980 – 2000. Karakteristik yang kerap kali diasosiasikan secara khusus pada kelompok ini yakni lincah, melek teknologi, serta mampu belajar dan bekerja secara cepat dan efektif. Tercatat bahwa jumlah anak muda Indonesia saat ini mencapai 64 juta jiwa atau 23.81% dari keseluruhan populasi Indonesia (satu dari empat orang Indonesia adalah pemuda). Oleh karena itu, kerap kali kita mendengar bahwa potensi pemuda perlu dimaksimalkan untuk menyambut cita-cita dan masa depan Indonesia yang besar ke depannya (BPS, 2020). 

Menilik tujuh puluh enam tahun kemerdekaan serta dua setengah tahun berlangsungnya pandemi COVID-19, masih terdapat banyak pekerjaan rumah menanti untuk diselesaikan secara gotong royong di Indonesia – dan rasanya, tidak berlebihan untuk mengatakan bahwa kelompok pemuda menjadi secercah harapan di tengah carut-marut persoalan dalam negeri seperti korupsi, ketidaksetaraan, pendidikan yang belum merata, serta masih banyak lagi.  Merdeka kini bukan lagi dimaknai sebagai “bebas” dari penjajahan bangsa lain, tetapi telah bergeser menjadi kemerdekaan atas ragam persoalan di atas, serta kemerdekaan atas diri sendiri. Ada beberapa hal yang para pembaca, sebagai sebagai anak muda, dapat lakukan untuk memberikan makna dan merayakan kemerdekaan Indonesia, di antaranya: 

  1. Belajar tanpa jemu

Knowledge is power” Begitulah tulis Sir Francis Bacon pada salah satu kanonnya. Hal ini pun diamini oleh filsuf Perancis, Michel Foucault, dalam framework-nya tentang power. Bagaimana cara memperoleh knowledge (pengetahuan)? Hmm, caranya tak lain dan tak bukan yakni dengan belajar. Belajar tak melulu harus diartikan dengan duduk termenung di depan tumpukan buku tebal atau bersinggungan dengan hal-hal berbau akademik formal di sekolah, tetapi juga dapat dilakukan dengan berdinamika bersama orang-orang, lingkungan, dan keadaan baru. Pasti akan selalu ada hal yang dapat kita pelajari dari sekeliling.   

  1. Peka dan kritis

Mengingat banyak bentuk permasalahan berbagai lini yang terjadi di Indonesia, tentu terdapat ekspektasi besar agar anak muda menaruh kepekaan dan bersikap kritis terhadap persoalan-persoalan nyata. Menjadi aware terhadap berbagai keadaan sosial dan lingkungan tentu dapat menjadi langkah awal untuk membawa perubahan bagi bangsa dan negara. Hal-hal besar selalu berawal dari hal-hal kecil, bukan? Menjalani keseharian dengan membawa kepekaan, disadari atau tidak, dapat menginisiasi perubahan secara perlahan. Misalnya dengan mengurangi konsumsi air minum kemasan botol yang dapat mengurangi produksi limbah plastik.  A storm can begin with the flap of a wing.  

  1. Membantu sesama

Selain belajar dan melatih kepekaan, generasi muda juga dapat memberikan makna pada kemerdekaan dengan membantu sesama, salah satunya lewat berbagai proyek dan gerakan sosial. Project Child Indonesia, dengan semboyan “everyone can do good” percaya bahwa siapapun dapat turut serta memberdayakan dan membantu sesama, khususnya adik-adik yang masih bersekolah di berbagai daerah. Dengan bergabung dalam program volunteer atau lewat pemberian donasi, kamu dapat membawa perubahan bagi kehidupan sesama, lho. Jadi, tunggu apalagi? We are all waiting for you!

Salam merdeka! 

Referensi:

BPS. Statistik Pemuda Indonesia 2020. 2020. Jakarta: BPS. 

World Humanitarian Day 2021: For Us #TheHumanRace

Written by Juhandi Dwi Putra Lyana, Content Writer Intern at Project Child Indonesia

In 2021, 235 million people need humanitarian assistance and protection. According to Global Humanitarian Overview 2021, the percentage has climbed to 1 in 33 persons around the world, up from 1 in 45 at the time of the launch of the Global Humanitarian Overview 2020, which was already the highest in decades. The United Nations and its partners want to help 160 million people in need in 56 countries, and they will need $35 billion to do so. What a big number, isn’t it?

Let’s take a look back, a year ago. 2020 is the worst year for some of us, even The Global Humanitarian Overview also agrees with it, 2020 has been a year like no other. We could see this from the pandemic which continues to have an impact until the present. Moreover, Several issues, such as violent conflict, rising hunger and the effects of climate change also need to be concerned. The crises become more complex and protracted. The health and non-health effects of Covid-19 merged with other crises make us overwhelmed, including the humanitarian workers. Tens of thousands of international humanitarian workers are sent each year around the world. The humanitarian workers are deployed to help people in need as a result of conflicts, natural disasters, diseases, or a general lack of healthcare or infrastructure. Humanitarian aid workers could span from weeks to years, and during that time, they could encounter dangerous environments, or face emotional stress. Exposure to infectious diseases, safety and security threats, and mental health issues are the risks of humanitarian aid workers out there.

We can imagine how risky the situation is. Nevertheless, there would always be crises across the world wherever or whenever it is. The number of people who need help will exist. As I have said, the humanitarian workers are overwhelmed. Due to wreaking havoc around the world, people on the front lines and in the humanitarian community are unable to cope.

In that case, on this World Humanitarian Day, it is time for us to be the humanitarian workers in our communities. A large leap has to be preceded by a little step.

What Can We Do?

Why don’t we take a look at our surroundings? As a youth, education is the closest thing in our daily life, so let’s start from there. Referring to Global Humanitarian Overview, when Covid-19 struck, governments around the world responded by temporarily closing schools, affecting 91% (1.6 billion) of students. During school closures, at least 463 million were unable to access any remote learning, and it has been occurring until the present. Unfortunately, there are lots of students out there who still don’t have access to remote learning or are still confused about how to effectively do remote learning. As we know, the loss of educational opportunities has undermined productivity, reduced lifetime earnings and widened inequalities. In that case, we can help those in need of education, assisting them in online learning. Therefore, the widened inequalities in society would be suppressed.

It is a little step that you can do, maybe started in our own neighborhoods, or by joining an organization. We cannot let the Covid-19 pandemic steal their chances to learn and study. “Education is the most powerful weapon you can use to change the world.” Nelson Mandela said it. From our little step, by assisting the online learning, we could help someone to reach their dreams, maybe to be a teacher, police, or just simply make their future better. In this pandemic, Project Child Indonesia gives a chance for you who want to be involved in the little steps to be humanitarian workers. Online Learning Assistance, it is a program initiated by Project Child Indonesia to solve the problems that arise due to the online learning process system at school. Through your participation and donation, you have been a part of humanitarian aid workers.

We live in a race against conflict, climate emergency, and global pandemic. In this race, no one will be left behind. No one will suffer alone. The act of solidarity could help us win this race. For us, #theHumanRace.

 References:

Center for Disease Control and Prevention. (2020, April 8). Retrieved from Humanitarian Aid Workers: https://wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel/page/humanitarian-aid-workers

Global Humanitarian Overview 2021. (n.d.). Retrieved from Youth Movements are Shaping Global Trends: https://gho.unocha.org/global-trends/youth-movements-are-shaping-global-trends

United Nations. (n.d.). Retrieved from Humanitarian Day: https://www.un.org/en/observances/humanitarian-day

Food Security in Indonesia and COVID-19: What’s The Situation?

By Arlenea Halyda and Nathaniel Alvino, Content Writer Intern at Project Child Indonesia

Have you ever heard about food security? Based on the definition given by the United Nations’ Committee on World Food Security, it refers to the objective where all people, at all times, have physical, social, and economic access to sufficient, safe, and nutritious food that meets their food preferences and dietary needs for an active and healthy life. In recent decades, food security is facing multiple complex challenges not limited to climate change, growing population, rising food prices, as well as environmental stressors. 

Even though global economic portfolios are expected to be positive this year, food security remains a major issue due to economic inequality. Along with the unaffordability of food among vulnerable populations, unhealthy diets – which are often linked with social and cultural aspects – also leads to the higher level of malnutrition, stunting, and wasting. These conditions are experienced particularly by countries across the globe. The danger might become initially apparent to the group of developing countries, including Indonesia – where the majority rely a lot on rice as the only main diet. Thus, food security should be a focus for local policymakers and the citizens in the coming years.

On the other hand, we cannot talk about food security without mentioning the provider of the food itself: Indonesia’s agriculture sector. 

As a nation known for its fertile soil, agriculture is vital for the Indonesian economy. Indonesia’s abundance of natural resources is an invaluable country’s asset, given how diverse and rich it is. Moreover, according to the United Nations World Food Program (WFP), around 31% of working Indonesians rely on agriculture as their primary source of income. Such an astounding workforce is the foundation of Indonesia being the third-largest importer of rice and other horticultural products, which also crowned Indonesia as the fastest-growing among middle-income countries, regarding supporting the agricultural sector. With such an incredible force of agriculture, it’s apparent that the condition of Indonesia’s food security lies in the agricultural industry, which caters to the food supply chain. But with the rising threat of COVID-19, how does the agricultural sector fare?

Pretty well, actually. According to a study conducted by LPEM FEB UI, the agriculture market in Indonesia is more resilient to COVID-19, as the negative risk of the virus didn’t affect much of the agricultural labor supply (Ikhsan and Virananda, 2021). This claim is supported by Indonesian Coordinator Minister for Economic Affairs, Airlangga Hartanto’s statement, “Indonesia has maintained stable growth during the pandemic.” 

But why is the COVID-19 is still a threat to Indonesia’s food security, if the agricultural sector is hardly negatively affected? 

Turns out, COVID-19 has impacted Indonesia’s food security through other means.

The virus bears concerns to the employment and poverty issues, as well as food availability, commodities, and nutrition. According to the LPEM FEB UI study mentioned before, the pandemic also can interfere with the food distribution process due to the lockdown and social distancing that are being implemented to prevent the virus from spreading. It also affects the purchasing power of many households across Indonesia, which can directly disrupt Indonesia’s economy, should the citizen’s purchasing power decline.

Furthermore, a joint study conducted by the UN WFP and the Indonesian government shows that the spread of COVID-19 also presents obstacles in the supply chain of nutritious food supplies that are more prone to perish, due to the limited availability of facilities and logistics. Food insecurity and shortages are also likely to occur, or even worse, among households whose economic and financial conditions are negatively affected by the virus.

These challenges posed by COVID-19 are a threat to the welfare of Indonesia’s food security. 

Thus, what can we do, as citizens, to help ease the difficulty our country faces?

Someone once said that every significant change always starts with simple steps. To contribute in maintaining the food security and its interrelated issues, especially in the national scope, there are some simple daily actions as well as reminders that we as citizens could put in practice:

  1. Do not throw away food

Make sure that you are always being considerate with your eating portion, so that you don’t have left-over foods off your plate. Keep in mind that not all of the people have privileged access to food security. Eating with a mindful portion is not only signifying the concern to those who are less fortunate, but also appreciating the ones who have taken part in the distribution and preparation of food on your table.

  1. Supporting small farmers

The growing urbanization, city expansion, as well as the shift of paradigm on farming (which makes the occupation to be less desirable) also take part in the growing danger of food insecurity. The wage inequality plays a role in pushing people, especially the younger generation, to dismiss the occupation of farmers – while in fact, farmers play a very crucial role in the food distribution chain. Thus, supporting farmers, especially the small vulnerable ones, by keeping to buy their products at the local markets would indeed take account in keeping on track the continuity of this occupation. 

  1. Getting involved in the education on food security

The challenge on food security also surrounds the limitation of awareness on the issue itself. It might intertwine with the fact that the knowledge, which is distributed through education, to tackle this issue is not still profound to all elements. Thus, education becomes very crucial in this case. It might be initiated simply through the internet or social media platforms to further spread awareness to the multitudes on how easy yet important it is for one to take part in food security. 

Hmmm, so, have you contributed actively to sustain and advocate food security? As agriculture becomes a less desirable field in our fast-changing world and the traditional farmers turn older, the role of youth becomes very crucial for the continuation and availability of food supply, along with the innovation in agriculture. The actions are not only focused to maintain food security in Indonesia, but also other regions across the globe. Remember, it is never too late to create a new change starting today! 

References

The State of Indonesian Food Security and Nutrition. 2020. Retrieved from https://www.futuredirections.org.au/publication/the-state-of-indonesian-food-security-and-nutrition/ at 12.00 PM, Saturday, August 8th, 2021

Food Security. 2020. Retrieved from https://www.ifpri.org/topic/food-security#:~:text=Food%20security%2C%20as%20defined%20by,an%20active%20and%20healthy%20life at 11.30 AM, Saturday, August 8th, 2021

Future Directions International. 2021. The State of Indonesian Food Security and Nutrition – Future Directions International. [online] Available at: <https://www.futuredirections.org.au/publication/the-state-of-indonesian-food-security-and-nutrition/> [Accessed 5 August 2021].

Lembaga Penyelidikan Ekonomi dan Masyarakat – Fakultas Ekonomi dan Bisnis – Universitas Indonesia. 2021. How COVID-19 Affects Food Security in Indonesia. [online] Available at: <https://www.lpem.org/id/how-covid-19-affects-food-security-in-indonesia/> [Accessed 5 August 2021].

En.vietnamplus.vn. 2021. Indonesia’s agriculture remains resilient amid COVID-19 pandemic | World | Vietnam+ (VietnamPlus). [online] Available at: <https://en.vietnamplus.vn/indonesias-agriculture-remains-resilient-amid-covid19-pandemic/205730.amp> [Accessed 5 August 2021].

Wfp.org. 2021. COVID-19 Economic and Food Security Implications for Indonesia – 4th Edition December 2020 | World Food Programme. [online] Available at: <https://www.wfp.org/publications/covid-19-economic-and-food-security-implications-indonesia-4th-edition-december-2020> [Accessed 5 August 2021].

International Youth Day: Youth for The World

Written by Amanda Ramaningrum and Juhandi Dwi Putra Lyana, Content Writer Intern at Project Child Indonesia

Have you ever heard the words “Youth are the key agents of change”? Maybe we have heard it hundreds or thousands of times from our parents, teacher, lecturer, or whoever is older than us. It is not wrong if youths are well-known as the agent of change, due to the fact that there are 1.2 billion of youth in the world today. Youths have those energy and creativity to change and improve the world. 

Therefore, every year on August 12, the United Nations designates a day of awareness as International Youth Day. It is the day where all young people in the world celebrate their potential as active partners in the global society. Held with a different theme every year, this year’s International Youth Day theme is “Transforming Food Systems: Youth Innovation for Human and Planetary Health,” with the goal of highlighting that the success of such a global effort will not be achieved without the meaningful participation of young people.

Mentality of A Good Youth 

Why is young people’s participation so important? Referring to the United Nation’s explanation, with young people playing a key role in society, they can bring a positive impact that leads to social reform and improvement in society by providing the energy, creative ideas and determination to drive innovation and reform.

There are two important attitudes that good youth should have. First, having a growth mindset. Growth mindset is the belief that you can learn. With this mindset, you can be braver to take on new challanges and see failure and mistakes as part of learning. So, explore! Don’t be afraid to try new things. Second, having empathy. As youth, we should see the bigger picture in certain situations. Empathy helps us to cooperate with others. Being concerned with others helps us understand how others feel, and greater empathy could lead us to develop more helping behaviour.

Things You Can Do to be A Better Youth

As we said before, as a key agent of change, young people have the ability to reform society and make an impact. With a good attitude, there are many ways to contribute. It doesn’t mean you must do a ‘big thing’. Small acts can lead to a better habit, which leads to a bigger impact as well.  

“We learn together to get better, so when we get the ‘capacity’, we can do more positive impact” — Kak Abie, The Director of Partnership in Project Child Indonesia

Then, what could we do as a youth?

  1. Self-leadership and supporting others

When youth has good self-leadership, it means they have the ability to achieve personal and professional goals. While implementing this, we also help and support the other youth to improve their ability. And then, together we can learn and develop to be a better youth. 

  1. Be a good user of internet and social media

Being a good user of the internet, especially social media, is one of the small acts that you can do as a good youth. Same as the mouth, the fingers can hurt others, too. Every word carries weight, so we need to take responsibility for what we’ve written. Spread positive content and information to your circle, give appreciative words to your mutuals, or simply be mindful of everything that you will write could lead to a bigger impact as well.

  1. Help your surroundings 

There is a proverb, “An elephant in front of your eyes, you can’t see; but an ant on another island, you can see.” We could start it from our surroundings. As we could see together, we are still in the middle of a pandemic. We could help each other by voluntarily delivering food to older adults, checking their health condition, donating some food supplies to local organizations, volunteering to teach children in your neighborhood, or just simply picking up your phone when your friends or acquaintances call you. Small things mean big for those who need.

There are many ways to get the capacity to make a more positive impact for the world. One of the easiest ways to contribute is to donate. In this pandemic, Project Child Indonesia– a community based NGO that believes in the notion of “everyone can do good”!– launches Online Learning Assistance (OLA) program, in response to riverside children affected by the Covid-19 pandemic and have already helped more than 80 children this year. Small acts of kindness lead to bigger impacts. With your donation through KitaBisa.com, you are indirectly helping these children to get a better education. 

The Covid-19 pandemic could not stop us, the youth, from making the world a better place. So, let’s celebrate this International Youth day by being the agent of change starting from our family, neighborhood, community, and then society. We are youth for the world. 

References:

United Nation. International Youth Day. Retrieved from

https://www.un.org/en/observances/youth-day

United Nation. Youth and Volunteer. Retrieved from

https://www.un.org/esa/socdev/documents/youth/fact-sheets/youth-volunteerism.pdf

Martine Bloom, Irish, et al. 2021. Youth vs Pandemic: The Role of Future Generation in The Pandemic Treaty. Retrieved from 

https://www.thelancet.com/journals/langlo/article/PIIS2214-109X(21)00307-7/fulltext

Jewish Family Service. How You Can Actively Volunteer During the Covid-19 Pandemic. Retrieved from

https://www.jewishfamilyservice.org/blog/how-to-actively-volunteer-during-pandemic

Student U. 2020. Youth Work 101. Retrieved from

https://studentudurham.org/growth-mindset/

Psychology Today. Empathy. Retrieved from

https://www.psychologytoday.com/intl/basics/empathy