Thanks to UNICEF Indonesia for the Activate Talks

Avatar Aulia Maharani Karli
Member since July 25, 2013
  • 32 Posts

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This is such a perfect week for me, because I got a chance to join to the very 1st UNICEF Activate; Innovating for Children – Innovating for Equity by UNICEF Indonesia to celebrate the 25th Convention on the Rights of the Child. It was held on April 23rd, 2014 at Erasmus Huis, Jakarta, Indonesia. As a youngster, I feel really happy because there were many other youth that came to that place with the same purpose as me. We wanted to be inspired, to be involved and to be motivated in order to make and develop an innovation for children.

In the opening of the event, the participants were welcomed by Ms. Angela Kearney, a Representative of UNICEF Indonesia. She is a very friendly and passionate woman. She added a little joke in the middle of the speech and a very good message for all of the participants. I can’t forget the way she said that, we (Indonesians), need the passion, spirit and the energy of many innovators, adventurers and risk takers in order to support the government to ensure that children and young people get everything they need to fulfill their rights and get their dream. Her statement was really motivating and fired me up. After that, the participants got the very warm regards from Ms. Linda Gumelar as a Minister of Women's Empowerment and Child Protection in Indonesia. For me, she is a very wise woman and I’m sure she will always give her time and care for Indonesian women and children. She was spending many time with the children and media in Indonesia lately, because of some children’s issues. Her concern of child welfare made her really appreciate and support UNICEF’s programs, especially to declare ‘2014 as the Year of Innovation for Children’.

In every Innovation, there is a very brilliant Innovator. Something special from this event is, they were not just invited one or two innovators but five amazing innovators in one time. They were; Ms. Tri Mumpuni, Dr. Ahmad Aziz, Mr. Toshi Nakamura, Ms. Mia Sutanto and Mr. Anies Bawedan. So now, let me tell you about their awesome innovation for the community and children.

The 1st speaker is Ms. Tri Mumpuni (@trimumpuni), she is an innovator who has been helping the people in a little village that haven’t had electricity. Ms. Tri Mumpuni surely said, that every place must have their own sources which absolutely can be utilized and that was what she doing for the community. With the water resources, motivation, hard work, creativity and experience of her and the community, now they can utilize water as a power plant in the village and the children are happily able to study and do their homework in the night.

The 2nd presentation came from Mr. Toshi Nakamura (@toshikopernik). He is an innovator and also a founder of ‘Kopernik’ the non-profit organization which provide the technologies for the developing world. He has done so many things for the Indonesian people who live in the rural area. Mr. Toshi Nakamura and his team have provided the solar power, save cooking stoves and water purifier for the poor community. It makes the people’s activity much easier to do. For example, the women and children don’t need to find for firewood to cook, because they have a save cooking stove. He also introduced the tab application, which can help us to measure the impact of the use of technologies. He is a very funny man, because in the end of his speech, he asked the participants to give him a score for his presentation, via SMS and it surely made the room exploded with laughter.

Our next speaker is Dr. Ahmad Aziz, he is a very wise and absolutely a nice man. He is a doctor and social activist and had spent many years in North Maluku. He found the solutions to help the community in eradicating malaria, such as drained the lagoon and eradicated the mosquito nets with planting the herbs and other plants. My favorite statement that came from him is “Let them (the community) solve their own problems.” It means, we just need to open and show them the way to get the solutions and let them control it by themselves.

Another beautiful speaker is Ms. Mia Sutanto (@miasutanto). She is the co-founder of ‘AIMI-ASI’, the Indonesia Breastfeeding Mothers’ Association. She is a pioneer of mother-to-mother for supporting and sharing women’s experiences during breastfeeding. In some slides of her presentation, she added a very interesting hashtag. That was #BreastFriends. She explained to the participants about the importance of breastfeeding and the father's role in supporting a child's growth. She also shared about her experience in using social media to share the information about the health of mother and child.

The last speaker is Mr. Anies Baswedan (@AniesBaswedan). He is one of Indonesia’s youngest rectors and the president of Paramadina University. He is also a co-founder of ‘Indonesia Mengajar’. For the Indonesian youth, ‘Indonesia Mengajar (Teaching Indonesia)’ is a very famous NGO in Indonesia, because the youth are totally involved in this program to live and teach the people and children in the rural place in Indonesia. He said there are lots of young people who want to help improve the quality of education for other people, but they don’t want to make a lifetime commitment. So, Mr. Anies Baswedan and his team started thinking outside the box and made a system where the intelligent and educated young people are involved to teach in remote areas for several months or years. So when they moved, there will be many other young people to replace them. Mr. Anies Baswedan wanted to introduce the innovators and motivators to the children and community in those remote areas. With this program, the people will be able to empower and develop their own village and community.

I felt really happy at the panel discussion time, because my questions had been chosen to be answered by the speakers. Since the beginning of the presentation and discussion, the speakers were talking about technology, health, and education. But for me, there is also a very important thing which really closes with the community and children’s life. That is, ‘The Media’. So my question to the speakers is ‘What is the media supposed to do in order to support children’s rights?” And some of the speakers proudly answered my question. The point of their answers was about, say no to ‘Bad news is a good news’. Because when the children watching the bad news on television, they’ll ask something like “Why are there bad people in this world?” and it would be different when the children watching the good news in television. Then, this is our duty as the youth to make an idea and find the way to support children’s right through the media.

At the end of this event, I finally realized that the most important thing in developing every idea to make an innovation and change a place and community is, ‘Empowerment’. Every person in that place is supposed to be involved. The innovators just need to show them the way and help the people to control the idea. When the community has a confidence to empower themselves, the ideas will be much easier to be applied and manifested. I’m sure there would be many other innovators and motivators from all around the world and I really happy if I would be able to know about them. So I hope, UNICEF and especially UNICEF Indonesia is willing to hold many other events and involve the youth as the participants in order to support the children’s rights.

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