||Bernise Ang [ profile ]
Belated Response to Set One questions! Ambon, Indonesia
Mar 19th, 2007 - 00:11:19
Let me first introduce myself before setting on with my respond.
I'm Helena Rijoly. I'm from Ambon, Maluku Province & Indonesia. I
have 3 major activities now. I'm InfoDoc Officer in Maluku Interfaith
Institution based in Ambon Also a Co-Coordinator for Young
Ambassadors for Peace Maluku which is a branch from Young Ambassadors
for Peace International which base in Sydney Australia. I
occasionally served as freelance translator and interpreter in
International NGOs in Ambon.
• Have you or do you know of other young people who have been
involved in a development strategy in your ASEAN country and how? Was
it on a planning level (eg. consultation*) or implementation (eg.
carrying out a project in a community)?
I was privilege to participate in SEACSUC (Southeast Asia Coalition
to Stop The Use of Child Soldiers)workshop in Cebu, December last
year, on their Strengthening Participation of Young People in Peace
Building. Although, my role was as dult companion and translator, I
fell very much part of the workshop. I am active in my country on
reconciliation peace building and peace education activities. I was
also involved with Asia Pacific and Asia youth groups but dealing
with ASEAN is something quite new to me.
Together with me I have younger colleagues, Dahlia and Ronald. I
believe that the step that SEACSUC had taken on that workshop was a
crucial one. I don't know about other countries and friends, but for
the 3 of us the workshop and visitation plus a taste of ASEAN Civil
Society Conference open a new way of looking the world we are living.
As the follow up from that workshop, Dahlia, Ronald and I are busy
with socialization process to the lower level. It is very true that
people in our place have no ideas of how ASEAN works and operate for
the development of their country. The idea of Young people taking up
very much in our mind. It is clear that the younger generations are
not interested in doing actions, more over to engage in development
Nevertheless, there's never too late. By reaching out to our friends,
family, neighborhood, We can slowly change the mindset. Right now,
series of FGD, Student groups and Youth groups are held
simultaneously for the idea of Young People Taking Actions for
One constraint for young people engagement with ASEAN and other ASEAN
countries relies on Language Barriers. Right now not very many young
people have the sufficient language skills to perform this task. I
believe this shouldn't be a big problem if we can design the right
system of passing on information, needs and fears of young people. We
can say that we can give everyone equal and free chance to learn
English but that process takes time. Now to fill in this transition
process we need to think of a system.
Most English speakers come from middle class to elite class people.
They speak on behalf of young people without really getting in touch
and discuss the matter thorough with lower level class. There are so
many "Assuming factors" played here. We young people should design a
more interactive bottom up system. Those who don't have such big
luxury of mastering can still voice out their opinion pass it on to
those who have the blessing to be in contact with the world society.
• Do you think there are particularities of youth engagement in ASEAN
countries compared to other regions? Also, are there practices of
youth engagement in non-ASEAN countries which you think could be
adapted to your ASEAN country? How?
I have the chance to discuss this point with some friends and they
still feel the lack of youth engagement in ASEAN Countries. In our
country, the custom of the young should respect the old etc really
weakens the youth participation. When youth are pushing forward with
their ideas, they will be dubbed as rebellious. Youth do not really
have a say in a matter where adults are included. Youth or young
people's ideas are considered unworthy.
Recent research that I did together with Save the Children amazed me
so much. One of the objective in the project was to support childrens
participation and to have a say about their needs in schools
especially concerning safe school and child rights. This very young
children (primary school) said amazing things that even adult cannot
think of it. They were assisted to analyze their school whether it's
a safe school for them and whether their rights under the UNCRC had
been met. They made a map of the school and point out the areas that
need improvement. The come up with ideas and suggestion which they
presented to the school board, principals, teachers, and school
committee. They suggestion was then being put to realities by the adult.
This is an amazing process and outcome as the adult listen and
cooperate with younger generation. Some of the adult said before that
they have never thought that a certain matter in school make his
daughter afraid to go to school.
I believe children and youth should be taught from their early age to
have a say even in the smallest things. Much need to be done in my
• Please tell us how youth issues have been addressed in your ASEAN
country's development strategy and/or PRSP and how youth issues have
been linked to the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals
- How was HIV/AIDS addressed?
Right now in Ambon, HIV/AIDS cases are increasing. We have 4 deaths
in the last 2 months. Many regulations had been issued Nationally or
Locally on how to deal with this issue. Rehabilitation programs for
IDU, assistance program for "prostitute areas", and HIV/AIDS
education campaign, HIV/AIDS activist groups etc, are flourishing
Young people became the target of each of these programs. To me,
these are a very good step but not yet complete. Most programs are
run by adults and youth as target group. I believ youth should take
up more actions by doing similar programs themselves.
HIV/AIDS education is very important. We cannot expect to stop HIV/
AIDS only by targeting youth. Appropriate HIV/AIDS education should
cover all aspect of communities, especially within family: parents,
relatives and children. This should be the strongest base to stop HIV/
AIDS to spread.
- How was environmental sustainability addressed?
- How was employment addressed?
Recent mishaps that happen in Indonesia, Lapindo Mud, Flood, land
slide, erosion, pollutions, etc. shows how low it is the practice of
environmental protection. Now, more people had to live a life with
shortage of safe drinking water. Slums area will increase.
Unemployment and underpaid will increase enormously. Natural
resources will be lost.
Conflict and natural disasters, mishaps etc, producing bulging
numbers of "poor people". IDP's living in Camps & people who lost
every thing during mishaps rely heavily on government and
humanitarian to feed them. IDP camps are mostly far from healthy
standard which lead to illness and death. People move to and clear up
more land sometimes diluting natural resources around them such as
polluting water reservoir, destroying the forest etc.
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