Tag International Youth Day

Youth Today, Leader Tomorrow!

By Neilan Sylvester D’souza

We all know that the 12th of August is celebrated as International Youth Day; around this time we also come across many slogans which shout that “Youth of today are leaders tomorrow”, “Youth are the face of Change”, “Young and active citizens of the country will take us to great heights”, “Youth voices and ideas must be heard” and many more on a similar note. On 13th of August everything goes back to normal, the celebrated ‘Youth’ become secondary citizens, and there is barely any importance given to their thoughts and ideas in most decision making areas; youth often get looked down for being inexperienced, disinterested and irrelevant. The celebration of International Youth Day in most cases lives and dies on the same day, we could also relate this to other commemorative days, regardless.

Pause for a moment, take time and observe the Youth today. As a youth myself, I can proudly say that youth today are not the same, they are better aware, more knowledgeable, better skilled and hard working, but also under a lot of stress and pressure. Let me put my observations into context. Last month ALL Forum spent time with Indonesian Youth by facilitating our program called Moving School in Bogor; we had around 36 participants mainly Indonesian Youth from catholic youth movements and also an Islamic minority group – Ahamadiyya Muslims.

Moving School Indonesia 2022

Even for ALL Forum it was a first, to bring together so many Christian and Muslim participants together in one place for a week long physical program since the past two years due to the pandemic. Our learning’s were enriched ever more because of the interreligious interactions which the youth were having. Never have I seen collaboration like this among strangers looking to learn and work together. We must pause, take time and recognise that among today’s youth there exists a pluralistic culture; mutual respect for sensitive religious practices; zeal to learn, understand as well as collaborate for matters of justice and peace; strong emotion and care towards the environment; and determination towards common good; against corruption and intolerant towards hate.

From this International Youth day on, let us not reduce today’s youths’ determination for change and care for creation and climate only as a viral trend, but instead, let us bridge the gaps, join hands, become inclusive and collaborate on every level so that we can form them as leaders for tomorrow.

My Insight of Moving School Indonesia 2022 and International Youth Day

By Yulius Yohanes Carlos Wawo

“Intergenerational Solidarity: Creating a World for All Ages” is the theme of International Youth Day which will be celebrated on August 12, 2022. The development of Youth in the world has always shown interesting things. Almost every incident in this world, Youth is involved in it.

In various fields, various professions as well as various issues in every country in the world, the Youth group plays an active role in it. Young people with their potential, namely having enthusiasm, having ambition, having energy and strong solidarity, are expected to be able to bring change to society.

As we know, the world today has various kinds of problems, plagued by various kinds of conflicts, and endless natural disasters. The theme of International Youth Day 2022 gives momentum for the Youth which is the glue of the generations, it is the Youth that becomes the unifier between nations, and the Youth that unites each group of different religions, tribes, languages and customs, to face every problem in this world.

Indonesia as one of the countries which has tribal, cultural, religious and racial diversity is one example that its youth can be a unifier of this diversity; to face issues in the fields of human rights, politics, gender equality, poverty, tolerance and numerous other things.

Last month, Asian Lay Leaders Forum held a program called Moving School in Indonesia July, 17th – 22nd July 2022. In my opinion, this program related with the theme of International Youth Day 2022. The participants came from different ethnicities, religious, racial and professional backgrounds, who then explored several issues related to Education, Democracy, Corruption and Diversity in Indonesia. We were also introduced to the principles of Synodality, which I interpreted as the principle of walking together, listening to each other and caring for each other.

Participating in Moving School Indonesia, was like entering the candradimuka crater to be buoyed with various kinds of knowledge and was an opportunity to communicate with other young people from different ethnicities, religions, races and customs. Likewise, “Intergenerational Solidarity: Creating a World for All Ages” is an encouragement for youth in the world, especially Indonesia, to prepare themselves with various knowledge, training, and capacity building so that young people in the world and especially Indonesia can become mobilizers, unifiers and liaisons between generations in the world and are able to create solutions to all problems and conflicts that occur in the world so as to be able to create a world for all ages.

Personally, I am so grateful for the opportunity to take part in the Moving School Indonesia in 2022 organized by the Asian Lay Leaders Forum, hopefully program like this will continue to take place consistently so that many young people in the world, especially in Indonesia, become drivers and future leaders who are able to solve problems in this world.