By. Laen Sugi Rante Tandung-MITRA’s Friend from Makassar

“A ship without a sail will be lost in the sea. That is us without our history as our guidance”

It was such an honored for me to be representative of Indonesia during ASEAN Youth Volunteer Program  in  Malaysia 2014. Here I had a chance to share also  discuss with 50 leaders around ASEAN region which came from different backgrounds who were aware of existence of ASEAN Cultures and youth participation  in facing ASEAN Community 2015 especially from ASEAN Socio-Cultural side where the youth involvement are really important.

Every year ASEAN Secretariat collaborates with AYVP and USAID to make youth projects which aims to tackle world issues in ASEAN Region. In 2014, the theme was heritage conservation. We were assigned to do a documentary project of heritage cultures in Kuala Lumpur and Malaka in 6 weeks program. Thousand of valuable knowledge from expertise on how to preserving ASEAN Cultures was something that we gained. On the first week of our project I was trained by Head of ASEAN Secretariat, Pangeran Negeri Sembilan, UNESCO expertise and lecturers in University Kebangsaan Malaysia (UKM). Moving to Kuala Lumpur on the second weeks we are documenting 3 main cultures: Malaysia, India, and Chinese. I myself was assigned to documenting and interviewing Chinese traders along Petaling Street.

From Kuala Lumpur we moved to Malaka on 3-4th week of the program, Malaka is a heritage city by UNESCO where we learned about heritage conservation, handicraft and traditional foods, and history of Makala itself. I was fascinated by the way they managed by the tourism here, especially on Jonker Street road where thousands of foreigners comes to settle especially on the weekend and  especially how government make a target on number incoming tourist in Malaka, something that our government is not aware off. At the last week, everyone is assigned to learn ASEAN Cultures who are different from theirs. I have a chance to learn about Malaysia and Cambodian traditional dances.

This program is held every year with different theme. In order to pass this program make sure you are aware of several things related to your application form. Here are some tips to pass this program;

  1. The essays is consist of two essays, the first one is about the reason why you should be selected and second question is about your post project in your community. In order to answer the first essay, Make sure you make a clear motivation about yourself in limited 250 words: write your personality that might be beneficial for this volunteering program(such as social minded person or passionate learner), volunteering activities(the more related it is the better the outcome will be) how impactful the program and post program will be if you are involved in, your future activities and goals related to the program put all related background, and how your involvement is going to impact you or your community.
  2. Make a huge impact proposal, here you will be asked about your future project; make it briefly. Tell the targeted location and participant(let passionate youth to be part of your program), why is it important in your community, the addresses issues and do not forget to involved others to join your program and try to think the sustainability of the project.
  3. Lastly, before you send your application form make sure someone proofreading yours to check your grammar, to check whether your application has some grammatical errors.