by Peter Araman
The words “Ask not what your country can do for you but what you can do for your country” spoken by John F Kennedy in 1962 have never been more relevant to society than present day Indonesia.
Those words galvanised a legion of American youth to mobilise in service learning and charity work at home and abroad.
Today’s Indonesia needs a similar call to action, especially for current teenagers; tomorrow’s leaders.
Happily, there exists such a platform for Indonesia’s High School students to share, collaborate and engage with their local communities, while simultaneously developing key empathetic, entrepreneurial and collaborative skills that will be instrumental in changing Indonesia for the better.
The vision for this completely free platform aimed squarely at teenagers comes from William Yiu, Chairman of the Board of Governors for Piaget Academy and a graduate of Architecture from Cambridge University and Business from Harvard University. Mr Yiu founded Piaget Academy in 2001 with the conviction that the traditional model of education was no longer fitting with the changing world. At the core of his belief is that children learn best through active engagement, research and project-based learning. Only through such collaborative processes do students pick up the genuine empathy, resilience and vision needed to solve the pressing issues of tomorrow’s world.
Once on the website students and schools will be able to register, then share and collaborate on whatever local projects they are working on or planning. Students and schools will be able to engage under three pillars; Education, Social, Housing/Environmental. Registered students and schools will be able to immediately post their ideas, upcoming school projects or completed projects with video, photos as well as rationale and impact of their work. Students as well as facilitators/sponsors will be able to communicate with each other and build relationships across ethnicities, socio-economic status, religious beliefs and geographical location linked by the common goal and idea that together we can make Indonesia a better place. There will be no fees of any kind associated with joining Indo Nation Building other than the most important of all; YOUR PASSION AND ENGAGEMENT!
Access to Education, known as the ‘great equaliser’ is the single most important criteria for raising standards of living across Indonesia and the world. Whether a school is involved in a large project such as building a library for a rural community or a more hands-on project such as delivering reading or language programs to the economically disadvantaged or anything in between, IndoNationBuilding.org is the platform that will amplify and connect these programs to the wider community.
The provision for adequate Housing is also a vital component of successful communities in rural as well as intercity areas of Indonesia. Many schools have worked with local communities either on the building of homes directly through Habitat for Humanity or more locally through the communication with city government officials and the establishment of unique programs benefiting a village or intercity neighbourhood. Regardless of how you or your school are getting involved in raising the standard of housing for Indonesians, IndoNationBuilding.org is an excellent place to start planning and sharing ideas and success stories.
Indonesia’s population of approximately 261 million people places it as 4th in world population rankings yet measured by land mass Indonesia comes in at 17th. This alarming statistic is compounded by the fact that the approximately 1.8 million square kilometres of Indonesia are composed of over 13,000 islands resulting in a massive diversity of environmental laws and regulations as well as lack of knowledge and general understanding of how the degradation of the environment can negatively impact the country as a whole and her citizens.
The time is ripe for you as High School Students through your Student Council or on your own as concerned youth to look at ways in which you can make a difference in your own community through project work or through advocating for a particular Environmental issue close to your heart. Register your idea or established project at indonationbuilding.org and let’s start changing Indonesia for the better!
SOCIAL EMPOWERMENT – LEADERSHIP
We as Indonesia’s youth are much greater than the sum of our parts, however the most well thought out project or idea created by our youth aimed at making Indonesia a better place for the future will be amplified greatly if shared and improved upon through collaborative processes and discussion with peers sharing the same vision.
Indonationbuilding.org will organise two youth conferences per year where ‘ambassadors’ from each participating school will have the opportunity to come together, learn from each other, share with each other and meet interested sponsors who may provide invaluable insight or aid to your particular project. These leadership conferences will be instrumental in the sustainable and evolving influence that Indonesia’s youth will foster through the myriad of projects taking place across the archipelago.
To you the future of Indonesia I can only say. GET INVOLVED; GET ENGAGED; MAKE A DIFFEERENCE!
Interested students, schools or sponsors, companies, individuals, government officials can contact Indo Nation Building either through the website at www.indonationbuilding.org or by emailing Tiara at [email protected]
Indo Nation Building also has a presence on Instagram at @indonationbuilding.id And Facebook at IndoNation Building.