Jaella Brockman and Tracie Mooneyham talk to the president of Initiatives of Change Indonesia, Irna Yugaswatie.
When did you decide to be a part of IofC?
I first found IofC in 2005. As a teenager I used to have a lot of conflict with my mum. I ran out of the house and decided not to go back. During this time, the IofC team came to visit my campus. After the quiet time session and sharing, I saw my mum from a different angle.
What does ‘trustbuilding’ mean to your team?
Most of our team are in their 30s, the time when you build a family. So, going out and reaching more people is challenging. We are young and energetic but sometimes we have too little time.
Trustbuilding is like a bridge. To make a bridge, you may need to bend some vertical structures, but you must not break them, and you need to make sure they are connected to each other.
What are the main challenges facing global youth in the next decades?
Humans need to get back to be human. This is getting more difficult because of technology and the speed at which we live our lives.
We young people need to regain a feeling of what it means to be human, to be trusted. We need to overcome our challenges and not pass on the greed that was practiced by previous generations. Don’t encourage us to do more damage to nature. Trust us to fix it, and don’t create more damage for us to fix.
How does your team encourage young people to be the change they would like to see in this world?
I am lucky to have an amazing team. I think the best way to encourage young people is to allow them to be the best version of who they are, and to express things in their own words. Words like ‘reconciliation’ are difficult for millennials to connect to: substitute them with softer words like ‘love’.
Also, we have a programme focused on stock saving. Young people don’t like the idea that Indonesia could soon be owned by foreigners. You can invest a few coins in national stocks and by doing so buy back your own country. People want to invest and be a part of Indonesia’s growth.
Photo by Alena Vasilyeva