U-Gen Assembly Engages Young Leaders in Sustainable Development Goals

Eric Olsen
February 8, 2017

By Naomi Yakawich

More than one hundred university students attended the U-Gen Assembly organized by Global Peace Foundation (GPF) Indonesia and supported by President University Major Association entitled, “Moral and Innovative Leadership for Peace and Development, Young People Take the Lead in SDGs, Nation and Character Building.” The one-day leadership training program on Monday, February 6, was packed with transformative leadership development activities. 

Dr. Teh speaks to students at U-Gen Assembly in Indonesia
Dr. Teh addresses students at U-Gen Assembly in Indonesia

Shintya Rahmi Utami, General Manager of GPF Indonesia, engaged the assembly in a cooperative ice-breaking session and reminded the Indonesian youth of Ir. Soekarno’s (Indonesia’s Founding Father) vision for the nation to be one of unity in diversity.

U-Gen is a leadership development program that aims to empower youth to take ownership of their nation by first fostering the moral and innovative character necessary to build a model nation. To get there, the program instills the notion that the responsibility of nation-building and fulfilling global goals falls upon none other than ‘Me.’ U-Gen Assembly is more than a seminar; it is a youth movement to raise moral and innovative leadership for peace and development who can achieve the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

Dr. Teh Shu Thye, CEO of GPF Malaysia, brought the SDGs to life through interactive games and discussion groups, providing examples of the 17 SDGs in daily life. Participant Hendi, a university student, later reflected that the session helped him better understand why it was important to get involved and why the SDGs are relevant to his community.

Students gather in “peace circles” to discuss SDGs

Dr. Teh also led an activity called ‘peace circle’ to help students understand more about their partners, environment, nation, SDGs, and even their own life and goals for the future. Many participants said the peace circle was the most impactful session during the U-Gen Assembly. 

Mr. James Poon spoke on the importance of keeping one’s heart and mind free from negativity. “The world is full of problems, and youth as the next generation can create solutions to solve these problems,” shared Mr. Poon. “Through self change, we can live for the greater good, and create a better world.” 

Mr. Teuku Rezasyah and Ms. Fennieka Kristianto from President University voiced their support for GPF Indonesia and the U-Gen program. U-Gen aligns with the university’s tagline to create ‘tomorrow’s leaders,’ creating a good partnership to raise students into moral and innovative leaders for peace and development.

The 2017 U-Gen Assembly at President University in Indonesia

Ms. Tokuda Yorching Poon, the Country Director of GPF Indonesia, launched the “Power of Rupiah: Aksi Kecil Harapan Besar” at the close of the assembly. The students were very enthusiastic to start the program as soon as possible in their campus and communities as a grassroots effort to empower youth to expand positive change even through small acts of kindness.

Most of the students said that they want to practice what they learned in this event in their daily lives and communities. Participant Suherlin, expressed her love for the event saying that she was able to learn how to be a great leader, and that to serve  others is the best way to accomplish a meaningful life.

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