Tuesday, November 4, 2008

More Links Coming Up

The link that is coming up next is Fulbright - the scholarship that sends me to the United States I will also share some hints on how to join that wonderful opportunity. Being a Fulbrighter brings me so many great opportunities. :)

Sunday, November 2, 2008

The Ship for South-East Asian Youth Program (SSEAYP)

The Republic of Indonesia Contingent for SSEAYP 2003 (I'm the one at the front right)

The Ship for South-East Asian Youth Programme is a very special youth exchange program sponsored by the Cabinet Office of Japan. Starting from 1974 this program invites the youth from Association of South-Eat Asian Nation (ASEAN) member countries and Japan to have a journey on a beautiful cruise ship called Nippon Maru for almost two months, visiting 5 ASEAN countries and Japan to strengthen mutual understanding between youth leaders from those countries.

Comprises of on board and off board activities, while sailing the sea the youth involve in discussion forums, cultural and solidarity group activities, whereas when landing at the visited countries, the youth interact with local youth, experience the living in host families, visiting interesting spots and meeting with the country's leaders (seriously, I mean it. We meet the presidents, prime ministers or at the minimum we meet the state ministers!). Your day will be so meaningful when you join that program.

I was among the lucky ones to join that program in 2003. In Indonesia all youth who wish to join this program have to pass very rigorous selection under the coordination of the State Ministry of the Youth Affairs. The participants are expected to perform well in discussion forums on regional issues, as well as performing in cultural events. So if you want to join the selection, make sure that you are updated with the recent issues national, regional and international issue, and you are ready to perform both in the discussion, and on the cultural performance stage with your talent. At the other hand the participating youth are also expected to have positive manner and sociable as in the program they have to live in the multi-cultural environment under hefty presure within super tight schedule and so many activities.

One great thing about SSEAYP is that they have post-SSEAYP programs for the alumni where you can enrich more of your experiences and knowledge. I, myself went back to Japan in 2006 with the sponsorship of the Cabinet Office of Japan again, to join the courses on Social Contribution Activities under the Young Leaders Invitation Program. There are also opportunities to become the discussion facilitator, program board, and so forth. So not only that you travel, you also learn.

If you are interested in this program, try to contact the ministry that coordinate youth affairs in your country and try to browse "SSEAYP" and the name of your country to find the SSEAYP alumni organization that usually in charge of the selection process. They will help you. For those who are in Indonesia, you can visit Dinas Pemuda dan Olahraga (DISPORA) in your province, and ask them about "Kapal Pemuda Asia Tenggara", or visit SSEAYP Indonesia site, http://www.sseayp-indonesia.org/ . The selection in Indonesia is usually held every March-April, with only ONE person taken from each province to join the contingent of the Republic of Indonesia. You can mail me too, if you want to know more about this program. The link to my personal mail is provided under this article, next to the comment link.

The followings are some pictures from that wonderful experience.... Good luck!

Me, next to the ship at Bangkok Harbor, Thailand

The colors of the participating countries

Me, in Renaissance/Young Leaders Forum 2006 in Tokyo,
A post-SSEAYP program for alumni who are active in community service

With my fellow alumni.
Friendship - knowledge - network were three greatest things I gained from SSEAYP

Friday, October 31, 2008

Indonesia International Work Camp

If you love voluntary works, whereas at the same time you are so much into inter-cultural learning, wanting adventurous experiences of working with local community in rural areas or working for the orphan house, or working in red light districts for HIV/AIDS campaigning, this is the place to be: Indonesia International Work Camp, known as IIWC.

I gained wonderful experiences there, starting from the first day of its establishment in 1999 until my coordinator, Gana, offered me to join the Asia-Europe Young Volunteer Exchange in Paris for almost 3 months of duration. There, I learned about cross-cultural understanding, the social organization management, while at the same time I learn about survival in world's big city like Paris. :)
It was like my Red Cross experience. I came without intention to reach something that big, but I just love what I did. That's I think, the key to every avenue to your dreams.


The next social work after my Red Cross days is my service to PILAR-PKBI, a Youth Center that works on the counselling and education of youth reproductive health. I applied to PILAR as I missed the recruitment of Red Cross Volunteer in my university. They recruited new members when I was in Japan for my International Exchange Program (and I still can't believe my luck! :D), and I just felt that I could not live without doing something meaningful for others.

So, in June 1998 I started my voluntary work in PILAR's Education, Information and Communication Unit, and again, I loved my job so much. Supported by dedicated volunteers at that time, PILAR built awesome credibility as the information source and counselling center for any youth in need. There I learned about Non Government Organization (NGO) Management, counseling activities, advocacy, and I built my network with other organizations. As a college student who was studying Public Relations at that time, PILAR was a great opportunity to sharpen my PR intuition. I wrote my first press release, radio ads, and developed the newsletter there. There, I also started some of the best long-lasting friendship that last until today.

The lesson from this is, we can learn about great things and build great networks when we join voluntary activities, while at the same time we feel fulfilled by the fruitful results that we see from our works for others.

I could not find the website of PKBI of Central Java nor PILAR, however this is the link to the old-day PILAR.... http://www.pilar.pkbi.20m.com/.
You can browse to other youth center sites, or, you can find the list of all 26 youth centers operated by the PKBI here.

The Red Cross

It was my first travel abroad, and it was my very first experience of joining an international event. I learned so much about cultural understanding, humanitarian works, and I built bigger dreams, that one day, I would be part of those wonderful works for humanity. It all started with the Indonesian Red Cross.

I did not think too much when I joined the Red Cross Activity in my high school, back in 1993.

I have been admiring Jean Henry Dunant and his works since I was a child. I red his mini-biography, and I built a dream, that one day, I would be at a battleground, helping the wounded soldiers or negotiating peace in between to adverse enemies.

I took the Red Cross activities very seriously, as I just LOVE it. Then, through that love, I started my very first social activities, starting from preparing fundraising coupons up to joining the search and rescue trainings and work camps, until my coach picked me to represent my school in some competitions. To be brief, I reached a national competition in 1995 and won. The following year, the Indonesia Red Cross Society sent me and a friend of mine, Newy, who was the first winner of that national competition to the International Exchange Program held in Japan.

The message of this short article is, once you love what you do, you will always be passionate about it. You would give 110% of your effort in every activities, and there you go, you will shine so bright that people would notice your dedication, and they are happy about it. As much as you want to give your best to something that you love, the ones who trust you would be motivated to give you the best in return.

Find out more about the Indonesian Red Cross Society, International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Society, and the Japanese Red Cross. Who knows, something might fit you there! :)