Feni Anggraini believes that happiness is when you can share the feeling with others.
Last year, when the student from Depok, West Java, was 18 years old, she became a volunteer to help the victims affected by the floods in South Jakarta. She joined an organization called Polytechnic Student Communication Forum in Indonesia (FKMPI), which had a specific program called FKMPI Care designed to perform social activities during and in the aftermath of disasters.
“Last January  I helped distribute much-needed goods to the flood victims at Lapak Pemulung in Pondok Labu [South Jakarta],” explained Feni.
“I became a volunteer because I believe your own happiness will increase when you share it with others. I think it’s important to help others in need.”
Feni was one of the winners of UNFPA Indonesia’s #YouthAction Challenge as part of World Population Day 2015, where the theme was “Vulnerable Populations in Emergencies”. The social media campaign asked young people of Indonesia to share images online highlighting their positive contributions in humanitarian settings, and attracted entries from all over the country.
The student posted an image of her volunteer efforts with FKMPI Care from the floods last year with the caption: “A little act of kindness can go a long way. Sending some contributions to the flood victims at Lapak Pemulung, Pondok Labu”.
Another top entrant Mahagana_ITS from Surabaya, shared an image of himself helping victims affected by the Mount Kelud eruption in East Java in February, 2014. The student posted an image with the caption: “This is a little thing that we could do as a volunteer to help the victims of the volcano eruption. And this picture was taken when we were helping to distribute the donation logistics”.
Novie Aghel, a student from East Jakarta, highlighted how he helped flood victims in another way with music. His image was posted with this message: “Psychosocial support program for child flood victims. Use music for relaxation”.
Young people represent 27 percent of Indonesia’s population – with one in four people are aged 10 to 24. While young people and adolescents are subject to vulnerabilities in an emergency, they can also provide a great humanitarian contribution.
“They [young people] are characteristically dynamic and innovative and that is why they should not only be the target to protect, but also partners of any emergency response,” explained UNFPA Indonesia’s Representative Mr. Jose Ferraris.
While these young entrants are just three examples of what young people can achieve in a humanitarian response, Feni has some words of advice for any other young people interested in following their path.
“My message to my friends is to not be shy to help because no matter how small the aid is, it will always be useful,” she says.