By Naomi Yakawich
Fifteen young leaders from across Indonesia and Malaysia participated in the first Global Peace Youth Leadership Camp hosted in Paris van Java, Bandung by Global Peace Foundation (GPF) Indonesia on May 19. The camp, held under the theme, “Moral and Innovative Leadership for Peace and Development,” combined teamwork-building activities, workshops and a service program to provide leadership education and opportunities to expand the delegates’ network on a national and international scale.
The leadership camp not only emphasizes universal leadership skills, but also educates youth on guiding principles such as vision and character. Youth are actively involved in the leadership training by alternating as their group’s team leader for the day throughout the camp.
Interactive sessions, including group discussions called “heart to hearts,” encouraged participants to expand their comfort zone, participating in deep conversations that strengthened empathy and their capacity to take on alternative perspectives. Jason Reysan from Bandung said the discussions gave him an opportunity to cultivate respect towards people from different cultures and religions saying, “It improves our empathy and leadership, giving us a vision to improve society.” Rahmi, a young leader from Makassar, described the sessions as eye-opening experiences that allowed her to see her fellow camp mates as family members that she could share her whole life story with.
The young leaders carried the vision of “one family” further when they traveled to Ciburial Village to discuss how they could assist the community. Camp participant Kiki from Makassar described the service opportunity as her most meaningful session, offering her the chance to meet new people and collaborate with them as owners of the solution rather than simply followers in service projects.
GPY Leadership Camp concluded with an exploration into nature and examination of the United Nations 2030 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). This unique program at Ir. Djuanda Forest Park, called “Nature Voice,” aimed to give youth time for reflection in a supportive, non-distracting environment before examining how they could contribute individually and as a team to the SDGs.
Sharifah Izzati from Malaysia realized that youth are the main contributors to a future of global peace. After being challenged to introduce the SDGs to complete strangers, Sharifah was amazed to discover the impact young leaders could have to influence others to contribute to sustainable peace. Camp youth resolved to continue SDG efforts with an action plan to address key SDGs into the future.
The leadership camp is a challenging and rewarding experience for young leaders hoping to increase their leadership capacity and moral and innovative network to transform the world, one community at a time.