Empathetic innovations for adolescent solutions
Adolescents bring positive change and empathy in their communities through developing digital and entrepreneurial skills
Kinanti was sick of the toxic clique culture at her high school in East Jakarta, where there was a lot of jealousy and resentment among students. The 15-year-old saw that many of her friends who did not make it into a clique often felt left out and dejected. “Humans are social creatures – we need others to share our feelings and to get help,” she said. “We cannot reach for a better future on our own.”
When she and four other classmates were selected by their school to participate in the Digital Innovation Challenge 2022: Generasi Terampil programme, a partnership between UNICEF, Indonesia’s Ministry of Education, Culture, Research and Technology and civil society, they decided to do something to rectify the situation and used it as the theme for the challenge. The programme provides opportunities for Kinanti and other disadvantaged adolescents to develop 21st century, digital and entrepreneurship skills through mentoring and co-creating innovative solutions. The Social Warriors, as they call their team, came up with the Friendship Game where players get to know each other better. Based on the snakes and ladders game, two to four players hop on a carpet-like board and ask each other a question every time they roll the dice, ranging from the basics like favourite food and film, to “How are you feeling right now?” or “What makes you tick?”
“I hope with this game, people can get to know each other and themselves better,” she said. “People from different backgrounds and genders can come together and collaborate.” The training process to develop her skills and ideas was an eye-opening experience for Kinanti as a young girl, who wants to be an architect someday. “Apart from design skills, we are taught critical thinking, mind mapping and other skills related to creating a product,” she explained. “I did not have a clue about what the workplace would be like, but now I am starting to have a clearer picture of it and plan my future.” Kinanti, whose parents own and run a small shop at their home, adds that she is grateful for the opportunities afforded to her through the programme’s workshops and trainings, which she thought she would not be able to access due to her humble background.
The Digital Innovation Challenge 2022: Generasi Terampil programme, through funding support from the UK National Committee for UNICEF and other partners, is continuing to reach 4,958 disadvantaged adolescents in DKI Jakarta Province, at a time when children are working diligently to catch up on learning lost during the COVID-19 pandemic. Through this initiative, children are building 21st century and entrepreneurship skills, an essential investment for their future prospects in life.