ASEAN was initially built by South East Asia country in order to make coordination in economy, culture, science, environment, politic and create peaceful among the countries. The coordination is realized through many programs and activities between the countries for the development of its communities.
The development process of ASEAN communities involves all segments of locality including youth. Even, often youth becomes the focus of the development of a country. Youth is a potential resource for a country as they still have a fresh spirit, power and idea that can bring the country forward. Each of the country facilitates and prepares their youth properly.
Youth as part of the ASEAN communities can significantly contribute for the development of ASEAN communities. Thus, among the programs and the meeting, ASEAN also provide its youth with many programs that allow the youth within the countries communicate and share knowledge each other.
At this moment there are several ASEAN youth programs that include cultural, economical and politics aspect such as ASEAN youth festival, leaders exchange, entrepreneurship workshop and youth creativity expo. Through these programs, hopefully youth can take on ownership and become lifelong contributors for his country as well as ASEAN.
There are many ways for a youth to participate in the communities building process. Same as ladder, it could be done through the simplest way until the complicated one. Each of the contribution will be beneficial for the development process.
The simplest way could be done through enhancing our talent, our interest that might be in political, cultural, economy or any other. Although the results cannot influence directly at this moment, however if it started from now, which means every youth focuses on enhancing their talents. As a result, in 2015 their talent will grows significantly and could contribute a meaning contribution to the country.
Other contribution could be done through a direct contribution for the communities. At this moment in the economical aspect, we can find there are many youth that has started entrepreneurship in Indonesia. They sell various thing in their early age started from the simples one such as clothes and food until the complicated one such as recycle factory. It’s very beneficial for the economy condition in Indonesia as they contribute to Indonesian GDP and also provide new employment for community. In a survey that was conducted by Business Week, five of Indonesian youth got awards as one of the best young entrepreneurship in Asia.
Other real example is from cultural aspect. In Indonesia, the youth designer successfully helps maintaining one of Indonesian heritage which is batik. Prior to this, less of Indonesian wore Batik. Because of the old design, Batik was perceived as an old fashion clothes. They use Batik occasionally on the formal events. However, recently after the launching of the new design of batik, we can see many people wear Batik everywhere and anywhere. It becomes such a trend for Indonesian community.
The most influential role of youth at this moment is proven through their contribution in creative industry, such as film, fashion, music and furniture. The main capital of creative industry is creativity that belongs to youth. Their sensitive sense of public demands added with the lack of capital has pushed them to be more creative than eldery people.
Youth also play important role on the development of science and technology. Most of the great inventions have been invented by youth. For instance is in robotic, telecommunication, automotive and computer software.
In the political aspect, youth can give their contribution through their consciousness of politic in their country. Youth participation can simply through their awareness of the political condition of their country. In Indonesia itself, the vote of youth in Indonesia at this moment reaches at 40 percent of the total voters. It has proven that they give a huge affect on the future of their country.
Related with global warming issue, youth also take part significantly. Most of NGO concerning to environment are managed by the youth, such as Green Peace, Clean Up the World and Walhi.
On the other hand, the role of youth as a pioneer of the community development also has proven through their involvement in the development of poor society. The donation and help from the teenager is usually pure as they don’t have any interest behind that. They go directly to the target such as homeless children and victims under the umbrella of their institutional organization.
Recently in Indonesia, there are many programs that are built by youth to develop the community. The program that they provide such as is free education for homeless children, library until education for disoriented children.
Besides, every region in Indonesia also has their youth organization. The organization is built locally for the teenager based on the region. Their activities such as cleaning their area, held musical events and also make a donation.
Remember the importance of youth participant in the development of ASEAN community, the establishment of youth should also be prepared well. Government and family have equal responsibility in establishing a coming generation to be better. Family has a direct role in the development of behavior, faith and their attitudes. On the other hand, government should open a wide opportunity for ever youth to learn by facilitating them and involve them in any programs.
Of course those support from family and government will mean nothing if the youth could not take the best chance of it. As young people we should prepare our self properly with knowledge, skill, leadership added with positive characteristics which are optimistic, creative and decisive.
As a conclusion, youth has play and will continue to play important role in ASEAN economy, cultural, science, politic, environmental and create peaceful among the member. With this important role, the future of ASEAN will be on the hand of the youth. Thus, youth has to prepare to take this responsibility by improving their knowledge, skill and leadership. If it can be realized, then in the 2015 ASEAN community will be more prosperous and peaceful.
* this essay was written by me as participation in a competition "Duta Muda Asean 2009". Hopefully i could take part on it...amin :)