Seventy three Indonesian youth explored ways to channel their energies and creativity to the benefit of their homes and communities at the latest UGEN Seminar on May 12 in Surabaya, the second largest city in Indonesia.
UGEN, short for United Generation and a project of Global Peace Youth Indonesia, seeks to equip young leaders with character competencies and leadership skills, and to encourage youth to use their skills and personal gifts for the benefit of others.
“It will difficult to make a change if we are too busy making excuses, said moderator Muhammad Handika Surbakti. “It’s time to say there is no excuse [to not work for change]!”
Shintya Rahmi Utama representing Global Peace Youth, the youth division of the Global Peace Foundation Indonesia, asked participants to dream big and pursue personal excellence by challenging his or her limits. “A real leader is a volunteer,” she said.
Featured speaker Shei Layla Faris, a social entrepreneur and founder of Save Street Child, said many people want to contribute something good in their society but don’t know where to start. She urged youth to “take a leap of faith” in any small or large way to contribute to their society. She told the participants that doing simple things at home, in school, and in the community can inspire others to follow. “Volunteerism can provide a spirit of change and spread awareness among the youth,” she said.
Save Street Child is a youth-led grassroots initiative that provides for basic needs and access to education for street children in cities across Indonesia.
The seminar introduced Global Peace Youth to young people in Surabaya as an association concerned about problems that impact their communities and the value of volunteerism in building healthy communities.
Global Peace Youth (GPY) Indonesia is a primary organizer of the UGEN seminars. With an emphasis on personal development and action, UGEN seminars connect graduates to ongoing leadership training and project planning support. Local GPY chapters serve as incubators for social impact projects such as the Musi River Cleanup Project organized in 2013 by a Global Peace Youth graduate to engage local youth in cleaning the Musi River.