Asean Youth Initiative Conference (AYIC). This very first conference made by the students of Padjajaran University brought me to go deeply into some issues of ASEAN especially my country, Indonesia. This event was held in UNPAD Training Centre, Bandung for 4 days (7th-9th September) and With the theme of Unfolding Youth Roles to Create Sustainable Tomorrow, this conference focused on the four points of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to be discussed in 4 chambers. They were chamber 1 SDG 4: Quality of Education, chamber 2 SDG 8: Decent Work, Economic Growth, chamber 3 SDG 11: Sustainable cities and communities, and chamber 4 SDG 12: Responsible Consumption and Production.
Together with the other 47 selected delegates around the ASEAN, I was with my pride as youth of East Nusa Tenggara province channelled my aspiration with the interest of Quality of Education. As for some activities in this conference which have engaged delegates and committee as important partner to think together and give a birth some brilliant ideas to create sustainable development goals for tomorrow. They are mingling time, team building, intensive discussion, and public conference.
Started from opening ceremony which presented some cultural performances and the beautiful voice of choir from UNPAD indeed was a nice first impression of this event. After opening ceremony ended the delegates directly continued to join a seminar and sharing session about “Sustaining ASEAN Development, Engine of Asian growth”. This seminar was led by the experts, professors and youth activists to share their experience and vision in the seminar. They are Prof. Dr. med. Tri Hanggono Achmad, dr (Rector of UNPAD), Dr. Arief Anshory Yusuf (executive director of the UNPAD SDGs centre), Setyo Budi (senior research at perkumpulan prakarsa), Senjaya mulia (President of ASEAN youth organization), and Panji Aziz Pratama (60 Global youth change makers).
In the night of the first day, I truly had some fun with all the delegates in mingle time and team building. Many games were conducted with the aims to build cooperation and collaboration of each of teams and get closer to know each other. After all this activity in the first day had ended, the second day welcomed me to wake up in the different place and had delicious breakfast with the all strange well-known people. First intensive discussion started and also each of delegates must be ready to present their research paper in each chamber. Talking about presentation, honestly this is my very first presentation to do in the ASEAN stage and I was totally unconvinced and nervous but always suggested positive thing in my mind was my strength to fight those bad energy. When the time came, my name was called by the moderator to present my research paper about “NTT Youth Initiative in Building Nation Education” and it was like my future calling and I did it well with a simple presentation of power point. Specifically, my presentation was about NTT youth who pay attention about education and have such an annual and weekly program or event to build nation education, as for MITRA, KITONG, 1000 GURU which became my objects of research. This research aims to build awareness of youth of ASEAN to do the same thing as those youth from NTT to take a plan and do an action and also to show some examples of youth movement who really intend to develop children with education even they are from eastern part of Indonesia that mentioned as the poorest level of quality of education.
Chamber1’s discussion about quality of education had Dr. Abi Sujak, M.Sc as the keynote speaker and two moderators, Billy Mambrasar Gracia and Ravio Putra who led our three days intensive discussion
In my chamber 1, there were 11 delegates from various countries: Vietnam, Thailand, Indonesia, Filipino, Myanmar, Malaysia and Singapore. Our discussion was about the importance of having quality higher education and vacational studies in order to prepare skilled-human resources. There were also some points we lifted up into discussion, they were like budget allocation, education equity, talent mismatch, alternative and learning methods, quality of human resources, and ASEAN regional integration which actually are influencing people in getting good quality of higher education and vacational studies. Three days of intensive discussion thightly forced me and others to think what best action we need to plan to tackle some problems related to the topic. And finally after the last tiring days of thinking, we produced our action plan and it was ready to be presented in the public conference by my two selected friends, Naveena and Aung Zi (you can look our action plan at http://ayic.unpad.ac.id/). Beside the action plan, we also prepared a creative video campaign related to our action plan and the process was quite long and took a few hours to record and edit. I and my friend Lavilla from Filipino were in charge to lead and handle the process of making video and it was my best exciting part of this event.
The theme of our campaign was about #IGoToSchoolBecause and in that video, some people who were recorded threw a plastic bottle each other and said their reason why they want to go to school. Clearly, through this video we try to encourage people to get higher education and show them how important education is in people’s future (you can see the video at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XRdecXZfMWs)
Beside the intensive discussion we also had a small tour in some places around Braga Street and it is indeed a nice recommended place for the youth to hangout. The urban development around that location was so tidy and modern and it took my breath away for a moment after being amazed of the girls in Bandung who are beautiful and fashionable.