Inspirational young people from COVID-19 Diaries
Get to know the inspiring adolescents and youth participating in the COVID-19 Diaries campaign
Since we first announced the COVID-19 Diaries initiative back in April 2020, we have received more than 1.900 submissions from adolescents and youth sharing their experiences and stories of navigating life through the pandemic.
Each month, we will select one profile to be featured as part of our series “Inspirational Young People from COVID-19 Diaries.” Let's get to know them and get inspired by their actions!
Pandu Permana is an illustrator based in Yogyakarta. Before the pandemic, he occasionally met with other illustrators to create drawings and designs together. Since the pandemic, he has mostly worked online and regularly shares his work on his Instagram account.
“Stay creative at home, from us to us” is the title of his work. Pandu would like to encourage all of us to stay inspired and to improve our creativity based on our talents wherever we are and under any circumstances. He believes that we need to find ways to create and to give our best for ourselves, our families, friends and others.
Pandu hopes that the pandemic will end soon and that we will not give up under these difficult circumstances. While he understands that everyone has their own difficulties, he believes that we still have something new to learn. “As long as we have that spark of hope, I’m sure we can do it,” he said. “So, we have two choices when facing a difficult situation: give up or rise and reach for a bright future. Which one will we choose?"
Pandu has many dreams, one of which is to own his own animation company. Ever since he was a child, he has enjoyed watching cartoons. He loves how they always have positive messages and encourage the audience to have dreams and to work towards achieving them. In addition, Pandu also wants to travel the world and create a YouTube channel about his journey. "I’d like to know and learn about different cultures,” he said. “I want to share my journey so that people who watch it can be entertained and learn about cultures in different places."
See Pandu's artwork
"We have two choices when facing a difficult situation: give up or rise and reach for a bright future. Which one will we choose?"
Fadilla Hersanti is a tenth-grade student in the Sumber area in Cirebon, West Java. She loves painting, playing guitar, taking photos and studying.
Before the pandemic, Fadilla participated in a variety of activities at school. But now, she spends her days studying, drawing and playing guitar at home. She also attends marching band practices in her neighbourhood while adhering to public health protocols.
‘The New Normal for Children’ is the title of her painting. Through her work, Fadilla hopes that everyone who resumed their usual activities little by little during the new normal period will continue to follow health protocols. She hopes that we can experience our freedom soon, just like before the pandemic.
"I hope this pandemic period will end soon, and we – the young people of Indonesia – can return to our activities as before," said Fadilla. She encourages other young people to make good use of their time during the pandemic to better themselves and to not be lazy by trying new things, experimenting, being more disciplined and staying focused.
Fadilla has many hopes and dreams. She is interested in learning more about children’s mental health and hopes to one day become a child psychologist, psychiatrist or paediatrician.
See Fadilla's Artwork
"I hope this pandemic period will end soon, and we – the young people of Indonesia – can return to our activities as before."
Olivia Amalia Valentine
Olivia Amalia Valentine, or Valent, as she is usually called, is from Yogyakarta. As an illustrator, she spends her days painting and creating illustrations and designs. During the COVID-19 pandemic, she has mostly stayed at home. However, this has not prevented her from being productive. In fact, she feels even more excited to paint and share positive messages through her visuals and illustrations.
Before the pandemic, she occasionally met with her fellow illustrator communities to organise art activities, such as painting exhibitions. Since the pandemic, she and her fellow illustrators from various regions in Indonesia have been regularly communicating virtually to share knowledge and remain productive by engaging in activities like virtual exhibitions.
“Stay productive when staying at home” is the title of her work. She would like to encourage all of us to keep being productive wherever we are and no matter our current circumstances. "Let’s keep spreading positive vibes to others," she said. "Let's not be discouraged. We can keep trying to do positive and useful things to encourage ourselves and others."
Valent hopes that the pandemic will end soon so that everyone can return to their normal activities. She believes everyone must have their own difficulties and that they are not easy to overcome when we feel hopeless. However, she reminds us all to stay positive and always be grateful in any difficult situation. "Believe me, if we remain grateful, think positively and always put 100 per cent into everything, I am sure everything will be beautiful in its time," said Valent.
Valent shared her dream of owning her own batik company. She loves making batik designs and hopes to create designs that have a meaningful story. "I want my designs to inspire many people, and I also want to support preserving batik in Indonesia."
See Valent's Artwork
"Believe me, if we remain grateful, think positively and always put 100 per cent into everything, I am sure everything will be beautiful in its time."
Anfield Wibowo, 15, currently studies at SLB B Pangudi Luhur in Jakarta. During the COVID-19 pandemic, Anfield feels bored and confined, but the entire situation has also spurred his creativity. Anfield draws, paints and does other art activities every day at home.
For his whole life, Anfield has faced challenges socializing and communicating with others due to his hearing impairments and Asperger’s syndrome. However, he always tries and never gives up. In addition to oral and written practice, Anfield uses painting as a medium to express himself and convey messages. By painting, Anfield feels liberated and free. His canvas is a playground for him.
Since he was 2 years old, Anfield has learned to hold a pencil and draw firm and fast lines. Then, when he was 7 years old, he enrolled in a painting class and was mentored by an artist who introduced him to canvas. He understood Anfield and gave him the full freedom to paint. Everything around him can serve as his inspiration, including the works of other painters, picture books, TV shows or videos he sees on YouTube. He combines all this with his imagination.
“My feelings and hopes” is the title of his work. Despite all the difficult circumstances, Anfield advises us that we must be grateful because life still exists and continues. He suggests that we remember there is light at the end of the dark tunnel.
Anfield hopes that during the pandemic we can become even stronger, more resilient and optimistic. He also hopes that we can continue caring for each other. "Don't give up, stay optimistic and keep working,” he said. “Let's use this time as best we can for ourselves, our families and others!"
Anfield hopes to continue studying and fulfil his dream of becoming a painter. "Hopefully my works can inspire everyone. I dedicate them to my loved ones, to society and to the country."
See Anfield's artwork
"Don't give up, stay optimistic and keep working. Let's use this time as best we can for ourselves, our families and others! "
Yonathan Bimo Satrio
Yonathan Bimo Satrio, or Bimo, as he is usually called, is from Banjarbaru, South Kalimantan, and currently studies at Atma Jaya University in Yogyakarta, where he majors in sociology. Bimo loves to dance, draw, colour and create video content. Before the pandemic, Bimo spent his days participating in lectures and contributing to several campus communities, including On Fire and Tepus Story. In addition, Bimo dances every week. However, everything changed since the pandemic. Bimo returned home to Banjarbaru and is spending time with his family. All these activities are now taking place online through social media. During this time, Bimo continues to dance, create video content, draw, colour and plant various organic vegetable plants to stay productive and motivated.
“Everything will be beautiful in its time and we’re heading towards a better future,” is the title of his artwork. Bimo's inspiration came from his experiences with the Tepus Story community where he had the opportunity to teach children in Tepus and saw their passion for learning. However, he added, they don't forget to enjoy playing. "The pandemic is a challenge to start anew. It changed everything, but not our passion for a fresh start,” he explained. “Maybe you feel bored and tired at home, but you need to believe that one day you can get the key to a better future.”
Bimo hopes that after the pandemic is over, people will have better health and hygiene habits, such as eating healthy foods, washing hands frequently and always wearing masks when they are out. He also wants to continue to write in his daily journal and share stories with friends about the many things we learned during the pandemic.
As a closing to his story, Bimo shared his dream that he wanted to achieve someday: “My dream is to build an organization or NGO for children. I want this organization to focus on the welfare of children and young people by being a place for them to contribute and learn empathy.”
See Bimo's artwork
“The pandemic changed everything, but not our passion for fresh start. Maybe you feel bored and tired at home, but you need to believe that one day you can get the key to a better future.”
Rizka Raisa Fatimah Ramli
Rizka Raisa Fatimah Ramli, 19, lives in Makassar. Before the pandemic, she spent her days visiting the local library to study and draw or attend the drawing club. Since the pandemic, Rizka has spent her time studying and drawing at home and resting.
“Not everyone can feel safe in their own ‘home'’ is the title and message that Rizka wants to convey through her work for #COVID19Diaries, which was inspired by stories she read on the internet about domestic violence. The COVID19 pandemic and the social conditions that have followed can lead to an increased risk of children experiencing domestic violence. Rizka also heard various responses about her work. There were also some people who saw other messages, such as differences in the "class" of society in dealing with pandemic. But for Rizka, each of her works can have multiple interpretations, and she hopes they will inspire many people.
Rizka also expressed a message for all of us who are facing the pandemic: "This pandemic is a difficult time for all of us. Staying at home may feel boring, but hopefully people will only leave the house if it is necessary to reduce transmission. If your house no longer feels like 'home', make sure you contact your friends or other people you trust."
See Rizka's artwork
"If your house no longer feels like 'home', make sure you contact your friends or other people you trust."
Lulu Il Asshafa
Lulu Il Asshafa has just graduated from SMA Negeri 1 Purworejo and is currently preparing for university.
Based on the material provided from the videography workshop organised by UNICEF and Yayasan Setara, Lulu created a video that was published by UNICEF and received a warm response from many, with more than 260,000 likes. Lulu hopes her work can inspire all of us to spend the time we have during the pandemic productively.
Lulu also encouraged us to take care of our health during the pandemic. Not only our physical health, but also the health of our mind and heart. Let's maintain physical health by staying at home, wearing a mask when going outside and washing our hands frequently. It is also important to maintain a healthy mind by staying productive and to maintain a healthy heart by performing prayers at home.
"I wish the pandemic can be over soon, the economy will recover soon and education will return to normal. Indonesia is ready to welcome a new era with new strength," said Lulu in her closing message.
See Lulu's artwork
"I wish the pandemic can be over soon, the economy will recover soon and education will return to normal. Indonesia is ready to welcome a new era with new strength."