Rutgers Indonesia, through the Power to You(th) programme, organised the Youth Consultative Meeting in Mataram, Jember, and Bandung, This event was held from August 21-25, 2023.
This meeting was conducted by Rutgers Indonesia in collaboration with our programme implementing partners in Bandung, Jember, and Lombok. The Youth Consultative Meeting invited young people from six intervention areas of Power to You(th) —Garut, Cianjur, Jember, Bondowoso, Central Lombok, and East Lombok, who have been involved in the program or are interested in making meaningful contributions to the prevention of child marriage, teenage pregnancy, and gender-based violence.
This activity aims to amplify the voices of adolescents and young people in the 2024 programme plan and provide a platform for young people to create change in their surroundings. By listening to the aspirations of these young people, we set out the 2024 plan to be precisely targeted to address the needs of young people in empowering the voices of Adolescent Girls and Young Women (AGYW).
This activity involves 120 adolescents and young people. They come from supported villages in the Garut, Cianjur, Jember, Bondowoso, East Lombok, and Central Lombok districts. Our implementing partners — Rutgers Lombok, Yayasan Tanoker, Perkumpulan SuaR, and Yayasan SEMAK — Field Coordinators for West Java and East Java, and teachers also play roles in this event.
The meeting is composed of two sessions. The first one focuses on the efforts of young people in preventing and addressing child marriages and family planning (SGBV), then followed by planning key activities for the 2024 programme plan.
In the initial session, adolescents and young people the efforts already undertaken, planned, and achieved. They also identified challenges and opportunities in preventing child and marriage, teenage pregnancy, sexual and gender-based violence (SGBV) in their respective regions. Participants from communities and schools were then grouped based on their districts.
The Integrated Community-Based Child Protection (PATBM) in Jerowaru, East Lombok, regularly conducts socialisation, education, and campaigns for the local community and strengthens its internal network in amicable ways. These efforts have received positive support from the local government, as they are committed to supporting the activities of the Village Child Forum (FAD) and PATBM through the Village Fund Allocation Budget (APBDES). This support is also reflected in the local regulations governing child protection. Furthermore, PATBM actively separates every potential child bride — known as “pembelasan” and educates the families of the victims. As a result, there is a significant decrease in child marriages in the Pare Mas Village, Jerowaru Subdistrict, East Lombok Regency.
Another achievement comes from the East Gereneng Village, Sakra Timur, East Lombok Regency. Local Regulations Prohibiting Child Marriages and Gender-based Violence have been issued by the local government. The village authorities also successfully prevented two cases of child marriage in East Gereneng Village.
Moving to another story from Jember, the young people actively expressed their aspirations to the local government. Their opinions were subsequently translated into action by the local government through Regional Regulation of Jember Regency Number 1 of 2023 concerning a Child-Friendly Regency. Additionally, the young people declared a commitment to Zero Child Marriages in the villages of Karangharjo and Harjomulyo, Silo District. Besides, within the school context, the students established safe spaces to access information and counselling services provided by SETARA teachers and student champions.
In West Java, many young people who are part of the Village Youth Communication Forum in Garut and Cianjur have engaged in dialogues with the local administrations to convey their aspirations. Some of the Villages succeeded in enacting Local Regulations regarding Child Marriage Prevention. They are also highly proactive in creating campaigns and raising awareness amongst parents, college students, adolescents in the villages, and local schools.
From all the efforts, challenges, and opportunities identified, young people presented their proposals to Rutgers Indonesia and the implementing partners of the Power to You(th) program in their respective regions. The proposed activities are also accompanied by the urgency, risks, and any support required from programme partners. These proposals are then sifted through by Rutgers Lombok, Tanoker Foundation, SuaR Association, and SEMAK Foundation to be incorporated into the 2024 programme work plan.