In Indonesian culture the elderly have an important role in the decision making processes of family and society. This principle of seniority grants little space to the youth for participating in the decision making. Changes wrought by democratic reforms have however contributed to different perspectives on societal values. The youth are increasingly given space to express their ideas and aspirations within the family and society. Unfortunately, most young people do not yet make full use of that chance. For this reason the fifth Change Magazine Road show took the theme of “Youth Rights”.
The youth does not only have the right to participate in elections. In school they have the right to speak out. For example, a student earnestly tries to arrive at school on time, yet in fact fails to do so on one occasion. The teacher does not accept his arguments and does not allow him to enter the class room. This student can then defend his right to follow the lesson. In another example, students should be able to create or develop their own “Wall Magazine”. This can give them the opportunity to express themselves.
During the Road Show Ms. Alanda Kariza, founder of The Indonesian Youth Conference, discussed youth rights with the youngsters. Mr. Rinaldi Ridwan from Indonesia Berseru talked about “how to communicate effectively with persons of authority like teachers, parents, informal leaders etc.” Ms. Afra from Change Magazine discussed “how to use online media like Facebook, Twitter, blogging etc. to express one´s feelings, wishes, needs etc. without offending other people”.
A young student speaking out
The Change Magazine Road Show was conducted by the Friedrich Naumann Foundation for Freedom in cooperation with Change Magazine. It was the fifth such road show and took place in high school Nr. 42 of Jakarta on 24 February 2010. The objective of this road show was to make the youth understand and know the right of freedom of expression.
There were more than 100 participants who were enthusiastic and showed motivation to be more active in expressing their ideas and aspirations and in taking part in decision making processes. The feedback from the teachers was also highly positive.
Friedrich-Naumann-Stiftung für die Freiheit, Jakarta Indonesia