Being a volunteer for various projects and programs is the most beautiful thing I’ve ever done in my life. I may not have much money to share, I may not have plenty of golds to share but I have many ideas to express through my powerful action without expecting things in return. Especially when it comes to the idea of education, I would love to spend plenty of time and my energy to teach kids freely. The privilege I have always motivate me to help people as much as I can. I’m so lucky to pursue a very good education and to have such supportive parents. This situation made me realize that life needs to share because for me, sharing is living. I decided to join an NGO called International Future Youth (IFYouth) which is an organization that focuses on Human Rights, specifically on Social Development and Youth Empowerment.
This organization was founded in 2015 by an Indonesian youth who believes that everyone living in the world has a responsibility to create a better world. IFYouth comes as a platform for youth to gain, improve and share their knowledge and experience in related fields. Seeing the fact that most youths are stuck in certain conditions of life, IFYouth comes to help to give solutions without any discrimination to races, gender, religions, and backgrounds.
We are currently focusing on two main fields; Social Development and Youth Empowerment which we believe to be the most significant issues to solve in order to create a better world. So IFYouth is an independent organization run by youth by not relying upon any other parties of certain interests. We are just small numbers of youth trying and aiming to bring what people call as ‘equality’.
We aim to at least contribute something by becoming and/or providing the facility to people in disadvantaged areas, particularly the youth to get access through education and/or related activities. Our big project is the International Human Rights University Forum (IHRUF) which was first held in August – September 2016 on Pulau Halang, an island in which we qualify as a disadvantaged area by considering its geographical condition, educational aspect as well as the general situation of the island. Through IHRUF, we aim to help by providing facility in education and environment-related activities to inspire and motivate the youth by encouraging them to start dreaming and working for it. We help through our physical projects which are in cooperation with local schools and society.
Financial Support is also a kind of our projects to ensure that all children on the island attend school despite any financial backgrounds. While to improve the quality of the youth and local human resources, our commitment is to help to send our trained team to be on the island and help with education and related issues. Sustainability is our main key that we avoid doing a hit-and-run project. Pulau Halang is the first target of ours. Other areas targeted are currently in our review.
I was recruited to be a program director of the International Human Rights University Forum (IHRUF). Our aim is to provide education for kids in disadvantaged areas under the idea of rights to get a proper and equal education. So we are collecting young passionate across South East Asia countries to be volunteers in isolated areas for more than two weeks. This year’s project is the result implementation of last year’s project in 2016. The main agenda is the Immersion program which has two main programs: education and environment. The volunteers were posted in local schools on Pulau Halang (re the border crossing between Indonesia and Malaysia) to interact, teach, and share knowledge as well experience to the students from Elementary to Secondary level for more than two weeks! These helped the local students to learn diversity comes from people with different backgrounds and different countries.
IHRUF – Result Implementation is a program designed to apply the best project from IHRUF 2016 which was conducted on 24 August – 4 September 2017 in Pulau Halang, Riau Province – Indonesia. IHRUF RI took place in the same village as the 2016 program to help the condition of the village, particularly in the area of Education and Environmental Issues. IHRUF RI is a platform for young people from around the world whose passion to make a better world by contributing to improving the quality of life in the village through education and environment-related activities.
Accepted delegates will be assigned for approximately 2 weeks to help to teach in the local schools (Primary or Secondary Level) on Pulau Halang. This program will benefit both delegates and students. Delegates assigned at the school will be mentored by our team as well as local teachers regarding to-do and not-to-do-lists while interacting with students that will enhance delegates understanding in some areas, such as education, volunteerism, humanity and local culture. This program is designed not to only benefit the delegate, but also to improve local students’ understanding on English as a language internationally spoken, new cultural experience shared with a delegate as well as motivation and inspiration that will enable the students to focus more on education to reach their dreams, or in many cases on this island, is to encourage them to dream and work for it.
Besides the educational program, delegates will also be involved in environment-related activities to bring the awareness of the local society in preserving their environment on the island. Trash are thrown everywhere by local people on this island which eventually litter the land and the sea. This program is designed to become a platform to help to educate society especially the youth regarding the risks of littering. This program will be put into action by some activities through schools and/or the local youth community to cooperate in achieving a better environment. A project of creativity competition will also be conducted to local people with IFYouth team and delegates as mentors. This project aims to inspire and encourage local people to stop littering and start living a better life with a better environment.
IHRUF RI aims to gather youth from different backgrounds to gather and contribute to one mission. The program includes an international forum, intensive practical activities in the village, as well as mentoring programs led by our experienced teams. 15 young people were selected through an online application process. Accepted delegates have brought into the village to sharpen their understanding and caring through social activities with the local schools, youth community as well as the society. The theme for the IHRUF RI that will be brought for a better living on Pulau Halang which was “Go back to nature, back to humanity!“
This theme is inspired by the people in Pulau Halang who have been living their lives by not relying on technologies and inventions that have taken most of the human’s life in most parts of the world. A place where you can see plants growing everywhere, trees that offer you shade, untouched forest which shows you the real nature and local people who are friendly to welcome you with their style of living. This theme aims to bring delegates to a nature which is considered to be an expensive life to have. A concept of natural living combined with an educational program comes to offer you the vibe of having nature while showing and encouraging you to share your knowledge, experience, and skill to local school which will eventually reflect humanity.
Basically the program will be divided into two agendas. First, International Forum and Discussions. Speakers from various countries will be invited to share their knowledge and experience to sharpen delegates’ understanding of issues related to Education and Environment in disadvantaged areas, particularly in Pulau Halang as the venue of this program. Second, Immersion Program. Delegates will be assigned to help to teach in local schools, getting involved in the local community and being a part of society. This program is designed to train delegates on caring and sharing with people through a real-life situation. Aside from the knowledge and experience gained through this immersion program, delegates are also mentored by our experienced team to help the local people through education and environment-related activities.
Let me tell you a bit about Pulau Halang. Pulau Halang is an island located in Rokan Hilir Regency, Riau Province – Indonesia which has two fishing villages: Front Island and Back Island. This island is mostly inhabited by local people (Melayu) and Hokkian People who originated from Fujian Province in China. The languages spoken on this island are Bahasa Melayu, Hokkian, and Bahasa Indonesia. To reach this island, delegates will be picked up at Sultan Syarif Qasim II International Airport in Pekanbaru, Riau Province – Indonesia. Delegates arrived at this airport will be transferred to Bagansiapiapi by bus/car which takes approximately 5 – 7 hours. Another 2 hours transfer via local ferry (boat) connecting Bagansiapiapi to Pulau Halang will finally bring us to this Island.
Here are some interesting facts about Pulau Halang:
- Most people on this island work as Fishermen to support their livings;
- Electricity is only available from 5p.m. – 7a.m. This will show us how it takes to actually live by not depending on technologies;
- The phone network is not stable. Internet connection is not always available;
- There is public transportation on this island. Walking on your feet, bicycle and motorcycle are all they have;
- This island is a heaven for those who love kinds of seafood;
- No hotels, convenience store or shopping malls. This condition is perfect to bring us back to nature!;
- People are very friendly that they love to see new people visiting this island.
Visit our facebook page to see pictures taken during International Human Rights University Forum 2016 on this island: www.facebook.com/internationalfutureyouth and you may check our website as well: https://www.ifyouth.org/programs/
My experience in this project turned out to be more than anything I could ever imagine. The first time I organized this program with my super awesome team, I didn’t really know what to expect. But as time as running, I walked out being someone with a new perspective in the world and became more sensitive to social and humanitarian issues especially when it comes to the idea of education and human rights. I myself not only grew as an event organizer or even as a program director but overall as a person who is really appreciating the process. If I had to describe my experience in one word, I wouldn’t be able to do it. It is so much more than a professional experience that I started out as acquaintance and ended as a family.