Youth have a bigger responsibility and bigger chances to change the world to be better, to work together in implementing the Sustainable Development Goals.
My name is Tamara, I am 22 years old and I’m passionate about education and youth empowerment. I work part time at the Global Peace Foundation Malaysia, an International NGO, as a communication officer with the education department.
The main reason why I decided to work part time in NGO is because I want something that brings benefits not just to myself, but to others as well. Also, I want to earn money so I can go to places and do voluntary teaching.
In my opinion, to implement the 17 Sustainable Development Goals and be able to live in a civic space, one of the things that youth can do is by being passionate in volunteering. I personally stand up for SDG number 4. Education can solve many problems. I believe that with a good education, we can help to end poverty, get a better understanding about how to move towards gender equality, end hunger, live in a peaceful world, and other problems the world faces today, hoping that one day we all will live in a civic space.
For me, volunteerism is about helping to do whatever I can to implement SDG number 4, quality education.
On June 2016, I went to Majene, a small village in Sumatra, Indonesia to do some voluntary teaching in one school. The school is a free school, led by 2 teachers, who are both unpaid. There are more than 40 students from poor families, who have come together to study together in one small room with poor facilities where there are some holes at the roof that might distract them from teaching and learning activities when it is raining. I decided to offer to help the two teachers to teach. I taught a few subjects, and explained to them why education is important. At first I thought that I couldn’t really help much, but I was wrong. After I came back, the teacher informed me that they have been using the textbooks I have given them and that it helped her teach her students. She said the students were getting use to reading books a lot more than before. Here I realised, by doing a small thing, we can help to implement the SDGs.
Can you imagine how great it would be if all youth in this world work collaboratively to help the unfortunate people and educate them about gender equality, humanity and others? They are the next generations, they should have a broad mind and a proper kind of education, education that goes beyond the classroom. Why don’t we who are luckier than them raise our hand to bring them to our world?
To implement the SDGs is to start doing something. Forget about how big the impact is, and start doing things we can do. Start picking up an empty bottle we find in the street and throw it into the rubbish bin. Start paying attention to the homeless people and have a little chat with them. More importantly, start to listen to your heart and imagine yourself in other people’s shoes.
On behalf of youth, I wish there are going to be more youth who will to choose to volunteer sincerely. I wish to see more children having the right and proper kind of education,
regardless of their economic backgrounds. I wish to see passionate and high quality educators, in all institutions. Educators who will teach students on the importance of caring not only for themselves, but the people and environment - it's so surprising the most basic things, a lot of adults don't even follow it. Educators who will allow students to make mistakes and let them think from the students' perspective and only encourage students to perfect who they already are - to be better, but not to follow other people's footsteps.
Start from ourselves by doing the good things as much as we can.
The problem is that we often think we can’t do something big, then we end up doing nothing.
(Copyright: UNESCO/Tamara Amalia— this content was first published as part of the Youth Newsroom of the Regional Roundtable “Youth at the Heart of the Agenda 2030: The Case for Space” here:http://www.case4space.org/newsroom)