Cerita #6: Realizing SDGs with World Merit Indonesia!
March 19, 2017
Forum Group Discussion and I Commit Challenge in Planetary event (Source: World Merit Indonesia chapter Palembang)
A platform based on the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (UN SDGs), World Merit Indonesia chapter Palembang (WMIP) has been existed since September 2015. At that time, I and some other friends started the initiative until this community officially established in Palembang city. We then agreed to focus on three SDGs which are No Poverty (SDGs #1), Quality Education (SDGs #4), and Climate Action (SDGs #13). This decision was arise after we analyzed the current issues happening in the city and the education background of the members. And so, since the beginning until today, WMIP works by making projects which creates local and national impacts aligned with the three SDGs.
In November 2015, WMIP in partnership with HiLo Green community, WALHI Sumsel and Mitra Bentala Lampung held an event called ‘Planetary’. Planetary is a series of events which focused on SDGs #13: Climate Action. Planetary consists of an education seminar, movie screening, Forum Group Discussion (FGD), and youth declaration in climate change action. The seminar about “The Relationship of SDGs with Trash and Water Issues in Palembang City ’ was delivered by WALHI director, Hadi Jatmiko. After the seminar, the event continued with watching a movie about the current condition of earth caused by climate change, named Planetary. With the knowledge they got from the seminar and movie screening, the participants then had a challenge to speak their ideas and create solutions against the climate change issues in Palembang city through Forum Group Discussion (FGD). During the discussion, Herza Yulianto from Mitra Bentala Lampung as the facilitator succeeded of making the participants expressed their ideas and found the strategy to execute their ideas into action. Consequently, the participants made a declaration to contribute in the action to prevent the further damage of climate change in ‘I Commit Challenge’ session. This session marked the end of Planetary, but only the beginning of their future projects.
After the completion of Planetary, WMIP keep doing various projects aligned with SDGs together with other local communities in Palembang. Among others are teaching kids at the dump area with Save Street Child Palembang community in promoting SDGs number 1( No Poverty), joined the international movement of ‘Global Bake Sale’ which was selling cupcakes for a month and gave all the money from it for charity, did SDGs quiz at a mall and the governor’s house, and visited the homeless people in a public shelter with Ikatan Pemuda Peduli Sosial (IKASA)community. All those projects then brought us to our first anniversary in November 2016. In this chance, WMIP held an educational event named ‘The Changemakers’ Show for Education, Social, and Environment’.
Some moments in The Changemakers’ Show event (Source: World Merit Indonesia chapter Palembang)
This free event was started by a talk show about international scholarships by Rudi Hartono, S.Pd., M.A. (Fulbright scholarship alumni 2014-2016) and Ade Hidayat (Youth South East Asian Leader Initiative alumni 2016). The talk show discussed in detail about the strategy to get international scholarships until the projects after the alumni arrived back to Indonesia. Many participants who mostly were college students enthusiast asking questions in Q&A session, they also told about their strong determination to get international scholarships in the future.
Not only a talk show, but also in this event I and my friends in WMIP invited other communities to show their talents. The purpose of their performance was to introduce the youth’s spirit in South Sumatera. There were remarkable performances from Ruang Bebas Biola (violin) community, Malam Puisi (poetry), and a fashion show of recycled dress from the students of TK Bank Sampah Junjung Biru. Besides the communities’ performance, there was a photography competition for Palembang citizen with climate change theme. During the event, the peak of the show was the members’ award ceremony. Personally, I felt very proud as we succeed in holding the event. This shows that the main purposes of the event which are appreciating members’ hard works and introducing SDGs were accomplished.
The completion of The Changemakers’ Show encouraged me and my friends in WMIP to make a new movement which is continual to increase the youth’s awareness about current local issues. Therefore, I came up with an idea to make a monthly discussion about SDGs in public parks. Thankfully, other members gave a good response for this idea and finally, after we did several discussion, WMIP agreed to create a new project called ‘Share It!’.
Activities in Share It! (Source: World Merit Indonesia chapter Palembang)
Firstly held on January 29th, 2017, Share It! is a fun discussion once in two months that discusses the local issues related to SDGs. For the first event, the participants discussed about SDGs number 8, Decent Jobs and Economic Growth. The participants which are mostly from universities talked about the present condition of small enterprises in South Sumatera that owned by young people in welcoming ASEAN Games in 2018. The discussion was performed in Monumen Perjuangan Rakyat (MONPERA) park and it was delivered in Bahasa (Indonesia) and English. We did the discussion in two languages because the other purpose of Share It! is to boost youth’s confidence to speak English more and I was acted as the translator at that time. The result of this first Share It! is a new action which is promoting the small enterprises by doing a social media campaign. We agreed to execute the plan in the last week of March by visiting some small enterprises and promote their business in social medias.
In closing, World Merit Indonesia is one of the platforms for me together with other youths to contribute in realizing SDGs into reality. I have faith that this movement will grow bigger in the future and give impacts for wider section in the society. The reason from this belief is because the positive impacts of our projects are getting better from time to time. One of the examples is that many students are now familiar with SDGs. Moreover, the youth participation in volunteering through communities, organizations, and government institutions is also growing with enthusiasm. And I believe this is just the beginning. Let’s pull up our sleeves for a better change!
“The struggles may be universal, the movement maybe global, but the best action is local and personal” –anonymous