Last Updated 13 Feb 2021

Improving Youth Roles in Poverty Reduction

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Poverty is one of the biggest problems that is faced by almost every nation world wide, including Indonesia. It is a clinched problem that is influenced by various factor such as income rate, access to education, public health services, environmental issues, and another basic needs. Eradicating poverty has always been discussed in both regional and international meeting and conferences, yet there is no suitable approach can be found to fight against it.

Indonesia, as a developing country in Asia, has more than thirty million people living under poverty line. Government has been trying to actuate many program that seemingly can reduce the number of poverty. It is essential to be perceived that poverty is not only individual problem, this is also considered as structural problem which means that it needs an integrated method and approach to handle it. Regarding this, government is not the only party that has responsibility to work on poverty eradication, it’s a must that the society be involved in.

Talking about society participation in reducing poverty numbers, youth is the most potential element that has a role as the agent of changes that carries out social missions to better a country’s life. Young people need to play a key role in shaping the future of their nations and communities and yet they are often excluded from the decision making processes. They should be at the forefront of global change and innovation. Empowered, they can be key agents for development and peace. Youth has fresh, creative ideas and perspectives which can be very helpful in finding solutions to development problems.

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However, this is not going to run smoothly if young people has no concern about the future life of their country nor have any sense of belonging to the country which will be the obstacles to the government to succeed this approach. Attracting young people to actively and productively engaged in government program of empowerment is the prior task. This has to be started from a very early level of education, young people has to have a great empathy toward social issues. This feeling of empathy will bring them closer to concrete actions and efforts to fight against poverty.

Youth can take a part in different ways, those are:

  1. giving help in fundraising or charity event, this can help many lives to get better access to basic needs and provide them a better living standard,
  2. conducting social projects related to poverty reduction, youth as social control can attempt many social projects in distinctive areas in order to help government works on society empowerment and address local development challenges in their communities,
  3. contributing ideas and initiatives towards government policy, youth is the representative of the whole citizen can work together to find the best solution for fight against poverty and for sure build a strong relations between the state and society by collaborating with youth “champions” within government,
  4. being a social entrepreneur, it is a sort of entrepreneur who runs a business whose profit is going to be allocated to the poor,
  5. getting involved in youth organizations for change, this is kind of organizations which is being spread out around the globe, it helps young people develop their skills and awareness towards social and environmental issues and
  6. advocacy, generally defined as an action for carrying out public interest, youth in advocacy can give important contribution in monitoring service provision at different levels.
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