Rizky is an accomplished 19-year-old in Batam, Indonesia. He is a youth advocate and a proud member of RAEKSA, a child club formed by Terre des Hommes Netherlands’ partner organisation Yayasan Embun Pelangi (YEP).
Poverty in Indonesia contributes to the vulnerability of children to sexual exploitation. Rizky was once a child at risk as he had to work at an early age to support his parents. He and his siblings had to work while attending school to help their parents meet their daily needs. When he was in 6th grade in elementary school, Rizky worked as a private tutor for grade 1 elementary school children. He taught English and Math. Rizky is an accomplished but shy child.
Through Terre des Hommes Netherlands’ Voice for Change program, youths such as Rizky are given a platform to be leaders of their community and be encouraged to take initiative in their advocacy for child rights. In April 2020, Rizky was asked by one of his friends to join RAEKSA. In the child club, Rizky learned a lot about child protection where he also received a lot of information about opportunities.
Learning more about child rights made him more confident. Rizky took the opportunity to represent Indonesia in the UNICEF Young Partner program. In this program, he was one of the core team of 19 young people to represent Indonesia. He is also involved in the activities of the #CovidUnder19 campaign as a Youth Advisor. The campaign aims to create spaces for children across the globe to be meaningfully involved in the discussions about responses to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Children are still in vulnerable and risky situations. I realized this after being involved in activities with Raeksa, Voice for Change, and YEP” said Rizky.
Rizky hopes for a brighter future for other children and youth, not just in community for the rest of his country, “I want to travel to many places around the world and bring the voices of Indonesian children. I wish that their voices will be heard”.
As the Voice of Change program ends in 2021, Terre des Hommes Netherlands and its partners hope to continue seeing children and youth such as Rizky to be advocates of their own communities and address issues that concern them to local authorities and the world.