Thursday, August 6, 2015

“Real Action for Better Life”
11th Youth Leadership Camp, Initiatives of Change Indonesia
Yogyakarta, 29th December 2014 – 3rd January 2015

Everyone wants to be happy. Everyone wants to have a peaceful life. However, we tend to blame our surroundings instead of doing self–reflection. Self-reflection is aimed at knowing ourselves and listening to our inner voice. We need space and time to do self-reflection. Therefore, I participated in a Youth Leadership Camp which is annually held by Initiatives of Change Indonesia. The camp was attended by 25 participants from Yogyakarta, Semarang, Jakarta, Medan, Pekan Baru, Australia, and Canada. It is my fourth time joining the camp. Each camp is meaningful for me. I can understand more about absolute honesty, purity, unselfishness, and love.

Life is a learning process. During the camp, I learnt lots of things through having a quiet time, sharing with other participants, listening to other’s opinions, discussing life issues, and many more topics.

In this camp, the participants were divided into family groups. The participants freely shared their life stories and experiences. “There are no strangers in the world, only friends we haven’t met.” The quote shows that we should learn to build trust with new people. It happened in the camp in which each participant learnt to share his or her life stories to new people. The participants also learnt to listen and respect others. During the camp, there was a plenary discussion in which some speakers were invited to share their actions in their community. One of them was Rina Hutriana, an inspiring woman who teaches English in her village voluntarily. As an Adventist, she was challenged to teach Moslem students since some parents did not warmly welcome her. As Rina does everything with her heart, she can wisely face the challenges. Her motto is “I have the right to choose and I choose the right.”

In a plenary session, Iskandar, the President of IofC Indonesia shared about IofC programs. Some of IofC Indonesia programs are Saturday Gathering, The School Leadership Program, Gintung We Care, Inner Growth Companionship Program (IGCP), and Talk About Life (TAL).

The Youth Leadership Camp is also filled with workshops. Each participant can only join one workshop. The workshops are Inner Growth Companionship Program (IGCP), Healthy Lifestyle in a Modern World, Art Therapy, and National Character Building.

This year’s camp was also attended by IofC international volunteer, Peter Heyes. Peter stated that being quiet is an action. It can be applied through quiet time. Tony, an Australian participant shared his personal experiences in the forum. Aria, one of the participants said this camp was great since each participant learnt more about the inner world. The participants inspired one another.

In the Youth Leadership Camp, the participants have a chance to express themselves through an Expression Night. Some participants sing, dance, do workshop presentations, have a magic show, and play games. This activity can build friendship among them.

The participants are also given time to visit some places in Yogyakarta where the camp was held. It was called “outing” in which the participants visited Malioboro in Yogyakarta.

Dr. Habib Chirzin, one of IofC’s advisor shared his experiences when attending a conference in Caux. He was invited to talk about Human Rights. Dr. Habib invited the participants to have dinner and a discussion in his house. The participants got a chance to share their experiences during the camp and sang an IofC song, “Be The Change”.

“Dreams don’t work unless you do”. Before the closing ceremony, each participant wrote down and expressed the commitment in achieving his or her dreams. As the theme was “Real Action for Better Life”, each participant was encouraged to do real actions for themselves and their community. Real actions can be applied through simple things such as keeping the environment clean, saying no to corruption, being disciplined, saving energy, giving contributions for social activities. Change starts with us.

-Yofrina Octika Gultom-
The Participant of 11th Youth Leadership Camp IofC Indonesia