Tag Archive for: youth

Youth in Humanitarian Action: Vulnerable Roles, Significant Influence

Written by Maria Olivia Laurent, Content Writer Intern at Project Child Indonesia

On 19 August 2003, the world was stunned to silence by the bombing attack on the Canal Hotel in Baghdad, Iraq. On that day as well, the humanitarian sector suffered a tragedy unlike ever before, with 22 people dead, including the chief humanitarian in Iraq, Sergio Vieira de Mello, in a targeted attack on the United Nations Assistance Mission in Iraq (UNAMI). To remember the losses that day and the significant effort from all humanitarian workers, the United Nations formalized 19 August as World Humanitarian Day. Today, we celebrate the hard work of all workers who have given their lives and dedication in providing support and protection to people most in need. This year’s World Humanitarian Day’s theme is #RealLifeHeroes, focusing on the inspiring personal stories of humanitarian heroes during the Covid-19 pandemic. Events and campaigns held by various organizations worldwide bring together partners and institutions to advocate for the well-being of aid workers. I believe everyone who reads this article is a humanitarian, whether you work in this sector, or you have a passion as one. Let’s discuss what being a humanitarian really is and our roles as young people in it!

What is humanitarian aid? Is it the same with other types of emergency aid? 

Yep, any aid given during emergencies and disasters is considered humanitarian aid. All programs, procedures, and supports are designed to save lives and alleviate suffering during and in the aftermath of crises. The ‘human’ in humanitarian means that those aids directly benefit the affected people. For example, giving shelter and food to earthquake victims, treating injured civilians in war, connecting displaced families, etc. Have you ever donated to an emergency fundraiser? If yes, you can also be considered giving humanitarian support. The Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) of the UN is the main body responsible for coordinating emergency responses. 

During emergencies and conflicts in their countries, young people are forced to shoulder the burden of fighting on the frontlines for their communities and become extremely vulnerable to violence and exploitation. Many are forced to drop out of school to care for their families. Basic necessities like safety, health, and sanitation are also cut off. Children face the dangers of being illegally recruited as child laborers and soldiers. Girls may also face pressure to marry early to secure their families’ survival, effectively killing their dream and future in these uncertain times. 

Getting Involved

If we look at the bigger picture, even aid workers in international organizations are also subjected to discriminative treatment. Either their hard work is overlooked, or their communities don’t receive enough support to do their mission. But if you begin to doubt if your work really matters, please don’t! We may not have much money or resources, but remember, our voice and perspective are invaluable. The development of technology and education have profited the humanitarian sector and modern innovation on how to help people better as well. Young people’s knowledge of social dynamics and disaster prevention like flooding and climate change help countries prepare and recover from crises. More and more young volunteers are going straight to the center of disasters and becoming agents of change. 

As first responders, we must demand to be involved in decision-making and leadership positions. After all, we know our communities better than others. Organizations need to have a balanced power structure and promote youth representation. This way, we are not only helping those in need, but also improving our knowledge of natural and social issues that arise. Women, especially, as the largest victim group in any disaster, must be equally acknowledged. The humanitarian industry is still dominated by men and often fails to listen to women’s opinions. Because of this, potential aids and programs may neglect women’s needs. Maximizing young girls’ roles is essential in designing and implementing the action plan. If we can start having an equal power dynamic in the humanitarian industry—undoubtedly the industry which revolves around people most—then I believe other industries will also follow and reinforce the roles of young men and women. 

Guidelines for Youth Humanitarian Initiatives

This IASC guideline created by UNICEF and several partner organizations focused on the key points related to services, participation, resources, and data that youth communities can use to develop their programs both in emergency aid and peacebuilding initiatives. “These new guidelines call upon us to give away power; to trust young people and to work with them as partners by giving them safe space to meet and discuss their ideas on how they can improve life in their own communities,” said Henrietta Fore, the UNICEF Executive Director (UNICEF, 2021). Moreover, the Covid-19 pandemic provides many opportunities for the youth to contribute by raising awareness, countering misinformation on social media (hoaxes), and mobilizing assistance by being medic volunteers or field operational personnel. 

Access the guideline here: https://interagencystandingcommittee.org/events/iasc-guidelines-working-and-young-people-humanitarian-and-protracted-crises

The five key points are: 

  1. Service – Promoting inclusive programs for all young people within humanitarian settings.
  2. Participation – Supporting engagement and partnership with youth, through sharing information and involvement in decision-making processes such as budget allocation, etc.
  3. Capacity – Strengthening young people’s capacities and capabilities as humanitarian actors and empowering local youth-led activities. 
  4. Resources – Increasing resources for the needs and priorities of youth affected by crises.
  5. Data – Ensuring the use of age-and-sex-disaggregated data pertaining to youth in humanitarian settings.

There are so many humanitarian organizations and communities both in Indonesia and worldwide you can join and contribute to. Each of them caters to specific needs, such as education, gender equality, poverty alleviation, and others that you can adjust to your interest. Project Child Indonesia has various programs focusing on children’s development, especially their educational needs and wellbeing. Through our programs Sekolah Sungai, Mindfulness, and Online Learning Assistance, we thrive on helping children from poor communities to reach their full potential. Check out our website and social media to know more. Lastly, happy World Humanitarian Day to all workers and contributors, and we hope to see you as our next humanity warriors!

Reference

Adolescents in humanitarian action. (n.d.). UNICEF. https://www.unicef.org/adolescence/humanitarian-action

IASC Guidelines on Working with and for Young People in Humanitarian and Protracted Crises. (2020, November 2). IASC. https://interagencystandingcommittee.org/events/iasc-guidelines-working-and-young-people-humanitarian-and-protracted-crises

Shifting power to young people in humanitarian action. (2019, June 24). Action Aid. https://actionaid.org/publications/2019/shifting-power-young-people-humanitarian-action

World Humanitarian Day. (n.d.). OCHA. https://about.worldhumanitarianday.org/

Looking Forward: Youth Skills in the Workforce

Written by Maria Olivia Laurent, Content Writer Intern at Project Child Indonesia

We’re halfway through the year! Some of us may be graduating soon, ready to kick off our career, maybe starting a new project, and so many other things to look forward to. As we finish this first half of the 2022 book, we’re celebrating what we’ve achieved so far and the new beginnings waiting ahead. But that’s not the only thing we’re celebrating today. July 15 is the World Youth Skills Day, acknowledging the importance of equipping young people with the necessary skills for the workforce. Commemorated every year since 2014 by the UN, World Youth Skills Day events have facilitated programs and discussions between the youth and various institutions about the implementation of TVET (technical and vocational education and training). TVET focuses on acquiring technical and vocational skills for employment, decent work and entrepreneurship, eliminating gender disparity and ensuring access for the vulnerable. So how can we implement it in our youth development? 

Education and training are central to the achievement of the 2030 SDG agenda to ensure inclusive quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all. It calls on government, organizations, and private corporations to incorporate the TVET into their programs. We all know how badly Covid-19 affects our economy, but do you know which age group suffers the most? Young people. And ironically, young people are supposed to be the future of our labor markets, so what now? In 2020, global youth employment fell by 8.7% compared with 3.7% for adults (International Labor Organization, 2021). In Indonesia, the youth unemployment rate was at 16.5% and continues to increase due to the pandemic. Young people are literally being pushed and rushed to work in these turbulent waters. They tend to work lower-quality jobs, suffer labor market inequalities, and have a difficult school-to-work transition. Not to mention gender inequality too, with how women are more likely to be underemployed and underpaid. 

As such, vocational skills development is a crucial key factor to assist youth with learning necessary skills through open, free, and globally accessible training platforms. It’s not just about addressing the economic demands but also tackling social and environmental issues such as creating equal opportunities and improving industrial sustainability. With effective TVET, young people can have better access to work-based learning, networking, job opportunities, and other technical and transferable skills across all industries they want to work in. 

But before we jump into how we can develop ourselves better, let’s look at what skills are in demand for young people in 2022. Over the last few decades, soft skills have become as important as hard skills, and some recruiters even say that they are what differentiates one candidate from the other despite all having similar qualifications. The first soft skill in every list is communication adaptability, which is crucial in managing teamwork. It’s followed by technical and digital literacy, critical thinking, creativity, and emotional intelligence. As for the hard skills, it’s a little difficult to pinpoint as different industries have different demands, but some of the more general skills include: machine learning, product management, data analysis, design, and digital marketing. 

Now, what can we do to grow our skills with little to no funds today? Check some of these out.

MOOC

MOOCs (Massive Open Online Courses) are free online courses provided by many universities and higher institutions through a free open platform. Anyone can enroll, learn new skills, and earn official certification. Pretty good for your resume, right? I enrolled in Coursera and applied for financial aid, so all my courses are free and available for download. You can also adjust your own learning schedule and even retake your quizzes. Other platforms are edX, Udemy, Udacity, RuangKerja and Skill Academy by Ruangguru, etc. 

Entrepreneurship and mentorship workshops

If you don’t like learning on your own, maybe you’re better suited to enroll in these workshops with other participants. Many business schools and institutions offer a wide range of theoretical and practical coursework that you can attend in student groups. You can practice public speaking, communication, and presentation skills with your groupmates. Finding a mentor is also relatively easy these days, you can directly contact them or find them through various mentorship communities on social media. 

Internship and volunteer work

This is a great way for students to get a taste of the workforce before graduating. Plus, it makes your resume stand out compared to other fresh graduates if you have prior working experience. As an intern or a volunteer, you can learn various job duties, or even try out some roles different from your educational background, and gain valuable soft skills and connections. Internships and volunteering are also relatively not as taxing as a full-time job as they’re focused on learning, so you can do this while still in college. If you’re interested in working or volunteering in Project Child Indonesia, make sure to check our social media because next month we’re opening the new batch!

This pandemic has indeed negatively affected young people, and we’ve seen many of us suffer unemployment and inequalities. We can’t just rely on the situation to improve. We have to rely on ourselves to make our way in this world, by improving our skills and challenging ourselves outside our comfort zone. There are many opportunities out there. You just have to seize them.

References:

World Youth Skills Day. (2022). United Nations. https://www.un.org/en/observances/world-youth-skills-day

TVET definition: the TVET meaning and what it stands for. (2021, February 8). TVET Journal. https://tvetjournal.com/tvet-systems/tvet-definition-the-tvet-meaning-and-what-it-stands-for/

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

Freiwilligenarbeit von Jugendlichen unterstützt Ziele der nachhaltigen Entwicklung

By: Felice Valeria, Content Writer Intern Project Child Indonesia


Wir können nicht immer die Zukunft für unsere Jugend gestalten, aber wir können immer unsere Jugend auf die Zukunft vorbereiten.

– Franklin D. Roosevelt

Nach Angaben der Vereinten Nationen (UNO) leben aktuell 1,8 Millionen Menschen im Alter zwischen 10 und 24 Jahren auf unserer Welt. Diese sind die bisher größte Generation von Jugendlichen der Geschichte. Das macht mehr als deutlich, wie entscheidend ihre Rolle zur Anregung und Umsetzung von nachhaltigen Veränderungen und tiefgreifendem Wandel für unsere Zukunft ist. Auch der UNO ist bewusst, wie wichtig eine aktive Beteiligung der jungen Generation zur Erreichung der Ziele der nachhaltigen Entwicklung (engl. Sustainable Development Goals, kurz SDG) ist. Viele Länder, insbesondere Entwicklungs- und unterentwickelte Länder, stehen aufgrund von beispielsweise fehlendem Zugang zu Bildung und notwendiger Gesundheits- und Hygenieversorgung, vor großen Herausforderungen in Bezug auf die Erreichung der SDGs, was zu strukturellen sozio-ökonomischen Problemen führt. Entsprechend ist es ein Anliegen der UNO, das Engagement Jugendlicher bei der Lösung dieser Probleme zu unterstützen und insbesondere Freiwilligenarbeit junger Generationen zu fördern. Für die UNO werden Freiwilligengruppen durch ihren Beitrag zu einer der zentralen Interessensgruppen, um die selbstgesetzte Agenda für nachhaltige Entwicklung 2030 zu erreichen.

Freiwilligentätigkeit, die meist in gemeinnützigen Organisationen durchgeführt wird, hat einen nachhaltigen Einfluss auf alle beteiligten Interessengruppen, darunter nicht nur die gemeinnützige Organisation und begünstigten Empfänger, sondern auch die Jugendlichen selbst.  Die Organisationen profitieren von der Unterstützung bei der Umsetzung ihrer Mission, von innovativen Ideen, verstärkter öffentlicher Aufmerksamkeit und einem gesteigerten Interesse neuer Unterstützer und Freiwilliger. Die Jugendlichen selbst bekommen die Möglichkeit, sich selbst zu entfalten, zu lernen und Verantwortung zu übernehmen. Sie verbessern Empathie, Selbstwertgefühl sowie die körperliche und geistige Gesundheit und erlernen neue soziale Fähigkeiten. Darüber hinaus bestehen eine Vielzahl an weiteren Möglichkeiten, kontinuierlich zu lernen und andere psychologische und intellektuelle Fähigkeiten zu entwickeln.

Auch hinsichtlich der wirtschaftlichen und sozialen Entwicklung von Ländern und Gemeinden kann der Freiwilligendienst einen wichtigen Beitrag leisten, Probleme, wie Armut oder mangelnde Bildung, Gesundheits- und Hygienestandards, zu lösen. Nach Statistiken des Internationalen Forums für Freiwilligenarbeit sind Länder und Gemeinden mit einem hohen Anteil an Freiwilligen in ihrer Entwicklung dynamischer und können den Hauptzielen der SDG besser entsprechen.

Auch wenn der Beitrag von Freiwilligenarbeit für eine nachhaltige Entwicklung und die Erreichung der SDGs für Gemeinden unbestreitbar ist, fehlt es oftmals an benötigter Unterstützung. Hinzu kommt, dass viele Jugendliche trotz der genannten Vorteile den eigenen Nutzen von Freiwilligenarbeit nicht erkennen. Die Gründe dafür sind oftmals auf unzureichende und schwer zugängliche Informationen, Zeitmangel oder mangelndes Interesse zurückzuführen. Da die Freiwilligenarbeit trotz ihrer Bedeutung nicht in die Agenda der UNO Millenniums-Entwicklungsziele (engl. Millennium Development Goals, kurz MDGs) aufgenommen wurde, mangelte es auch von UNO-Seite lange an der benötigten Unterstützung und Förderung, was sich nun geändert hat. Im Rahmen der Youth & SDGs 2030 – Kampagne zeigt die UNO Möglichkeiten auf, sich als Jugendlicher im Sinne der SDGs zu engagieren.

Es liegt nun einerseits an den Gemeinden, Freiwilligenarbeit von Jugendlichen aktiv zu fördern sowie an den Jugendlichen selbst, gegebene Chancen zu ergreifen und von den Vorteilen freiwilligen Engagements zu profitieren. So kann nicht nur ein entscheidender Beitrag zur Erreichung der SDGs geleistet, sondern darüber hinaus nachhaltig Gutes zur positiven Beeinflussung unserer Zukunft beigetragen werden.

Also, auf geht‘s junge Leute! Wartet nicht länger, lasst uns Freiwillige sein, um Hand in Hand die gesetzten Nachhaltigkeitsziele zu erreichen!
Mehr zu den Möglichkeiten der Freiwilligenarbeit bei Project Child hier

Youth Volunteerism to Achieve Sustainable Development Goals

By: Felice Valeria, Content Writer Intern Project Child Indonesia

We cannot always build the future for our youth, but we can build our youth for the future.

– Franklin D. Roosevelt

According to the United Nations, there are 1.8 billion people aged between 10-24 in the world, which could be said as the largest generation of youth in history. Hence, the role of youth in advocating for and executing changes seems to be really crucial, especially by taking into account their role as agents of change for the future. In responding to this particular phenomenon, the United Nations has highly distressed and encouraged the active participation of young people to contribute in advancing the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). In many countries, particularly the developing and underdeveloped ones, most of the youths are facing several major challenges in terms of SDGs, such as but not limited to the lack of access to education, healthcare, and employment, which eventually would create more structural socio-economic problems in the future. Of course, one of the relatively best and easiest ways to foster their involvement in solving those problems is undoubtedly through volunteering activities.

Volunteerism, which is mostly executed through non-profit organizations, has significantly impacted the stakeholders involved, which include the non-profit themselves, as well as the communities and the youths. Nonprofits could be benefited through the expansion of missions, innovative ideas, enhanced public support, and the cultivation of new supporters and volunteers. Meanwhile, the young people could take advantage in terms of their increase of self-development, which include but not limited to responsibility, empathy, self-esteem, new social skills, improved physical and mental health, interest in learning, and other psychological and intellectual developments. The United Nations itself has recognized volunteer groups as one of the stakeholders to achieve the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, that might also considerably foster its national planning and implementation.

It could be seen that volunteerism is a prominent fuel for sustainable development, and it is highly recommended for all communities to get involved. Nonetheless, despite the aforementioned benefits of youth volunteerism, a considerable amount of young people may unfortunately still be discouraged from conducting volunteering activities, which might be caused by the lack of information, lack of time, lack of interest, and so forth. As these problems should be taken into account, volunteerism would definitely provide abundant benefits for the youths and the grass-root communities, especially in the efforts of achieving SDGs. As volunteerism was not featured in the agenda of the Millenium Development Goals (MDGs), despite its significance to be implemented. Further significance and effectiveness of volunteerism could be proven by the fact that countries which have high amount of volunteers are more vibrant in terms of economic and social conditions, according to the statistics by the International Forum for Volunteering in Development. Many aspects that drive poverty could also be gradually resolved from the act of volunteering, such as education, health, employment, and livelihoods, which are the key objectives of the SDGs.

Wait no more, let’s be a volunteer to achieve SDGs hand in hand, young people!