Young Green Leaders Award 2011: 30 students lead a change to save the earth
Publikasi GYC pada The Jakarta Post, Edisi 19 Juni 2011
Nowadays, humanity faces unprecedented threats. You name it: global warming, climate change, water crises, dwindling energy sources and overwhelming waste production.
Those are the greatest challenges facing humanity at the beginning of the 21st century.
James Leape, the chief executive of WWF International, predicts that if this phenomenon continues for 30-40 years, humankind will face ecological collapse on an unprecedented scale due to the destruction of natural capital and losses in ecosystem services. By the mid 2030s, people will need one more planet to meet the demands they place on the planet’s natural capital.
The advances that governments as well as experts have made to preserve the environment are by no means sufficient. Hence, this is a call for youth to fill in that void.
That’s why, motivated by the needs of change toward environmental challenges, two communities, Young On Top and GARUDA Youth Community, and CIMB Niaga bank worked together to host the first Young Green Leaders (YGL) Award 2011.
Young Green Leaders Camp at Puncak, Bogor
The GARUDA Youth Community is entirely run by youth and focuses on youth empowerment and global issues and is now rapidly expanding its movement by creating branches at 15 universities in Indonesia, while Young On Top is a community founded and led by Billy Boen, the author of the bestseller Young On Top, which aims to create a golden future for Indonesian leaders.
Intended as a platform for developing youngsters’ leadership capabilities and competence with environmental issues as well as a search for future Indonesian leaders, the 1st YGL Award created a roadshow at five different schools in five different locations: Jakarta, Bogor, Depok, Bekasi and Tangerang. Over 600 students took part in the roadshow.
In Tangerang, student leaders gathered from various secondary schools at SMA Mater Dei of Tangerang. SMA Kornita in Bogor, SMA Negeri 5 in Bekasi, SMA Labschool Kebayoran Jakarta and SMA Negeri 1 in Depok were also the venues for the roadshow. First, the participants were given trainings in environmental issues and leadership. The trainings were intended to increase their understanding of current environmental issues and the youth role in overcoming those problems and aimed to educate youth how to be a project leaders. After the training session ended, participants were divided into teams based on their schools.
Every team consisted of three people and was challenged to design a creative and inspiring environmental project that could answer the environmental challenges at their own schools. Ten teams with the most innovative ideas were then invited to a priceless and captivating experience at the Youth Green Camp.
Yes! It was really priceless. The selected teams: SMA Kornita Bogor, SMA Negeri 5 Depok, SMA PGRI Depok, SMA Labschool Kebayoran, SMK 50 Jakarta, SMA Negeri 1 Tangerang, SMA Negeri 8 Tangerang, SMA Mater Dei Tangerang and two teams from SMA Negeri 5 Bekasi were taken to a two-day-one-night camp in Ciawi, West Java.
At the camp they had a chance to meet and get personal and team development from numerous outstanding figures like Didit Putra of Greenpeace and motivational speaker Billy Boen.
Didit opened the camp in a unique way. He invited the participants to analyze environmental problems through a challenging quiz. They were divided into three teams and each team was required to demonstrate the conflicts between humans and the environment in a theatrical performance.
The next session was delivered by a cafe chain. They allowed participants to get to know more about the way the coffee chain runs their business and complies with environmental ethics.
After being educated about best practices in environmental ethics in business and entrepreneurship, all participants met Nina, the recipient of the “Young Changemaker Ashoka Award” and a representative of the British Council, in a workshop on recycling. The class was fun! They made goodybags, wallets and bracelets from plastic.
The classes continued. Next, two representatives from AIESEC Indonesia provided leadership development. The funniest part was the representatives, Aby and Widy, who began the class by dancing.
Billy Boen also took part the next day. He encouraged the participants to share their life dreams and believe in themselves.
In the end, all teams presented their ideas in front of three judges from YOT, GYC and AIESEC Indonesia. Besides scoring, the judges also provided critiques and suggestions so the projects would be more tangible and feasible.
After completing the camp, participants went back to their own schools. This is when the competition started. They were required to implement their projects within three weeks. Each team was guided by a facilitator. Every week, they reported on their progress. This was the second judgment, the most active and progressive would get a higher score.
Three weeks went very fast and the awards ceremony finally came. All came to the campus of Social and Political Studies at university of Indonesia to join the ceremony, which was held as part of the “Love Our Earth” (LOE) Festival. This festival had many events: a car free day and fun bike at UI in the morning, a seminar about green movements on campus by the GARUDA Youth Community and Forum Kampus Hijau Indonesia (FKHI), a waste recycling workshop for the public by the British Council/Green Earth and a public discussion by the River for Life Community. The 10 finalists also presented the outcomes of their projects to the public.
Garuda Youth Community and Forum Kampus Hijau Indonesia at Love Our Earth Festival
Khrisna Aria Putra, the Project Officer of Young Green Leaders, with the winner.
SMA Labschool Kebayoran was the third best team, followed by SMA Negeri 5 Bekasi in second and the Young Green Leaders Award was given to SMA PGRI Depok. After pursuing all the events in the program from the roadshow, camp and competition to the awards ceremony, they declared a new movement initiated by the 10 finalists called Forum Sekolah Hijau Indonesia (FSHI).
Under FSHI, they will actively promote a green lifestyle to upper secondary students and help schools to become more eco-friendly with campaigns against styrofoam and events to use less paper and plastic in school. Though the program has ended, the courage and commitment to save this earth never ends. Imagine if all Indonesian youth had the same vision, could we have a better Indonesia in the future? Absolutely! Yes!
I, personally, can’t wait to see the 2nd Young Green Leaders Award 2012. The enrollment will be open to all high school students in Indonesia. Make sure your team is ready to take part in March 2012!
The writer is David Emmanuel Sihombing,
president of the GARUDA Youth Community.