This symposium brought together grassroots organizations and individuals who are interested in innovative and high-impact educational programs to teach Indonesia’s most vulnerable youth. Through collaboration with the Young Southeast Asian Leaders Initiative (YSEALI-US Embassy), this event was also an opportunity to expand the American Institute for Indonesian Studies' (AIFIS) outreach to exchange programs. This event was attended by 80 young leaders, 5 institutions which offered alternative education to vulnerable youth, 10 representatives from Indonesian government, and 10 street children from Sekolah Kami who gave an Angklung opening performance.
Indonesian Minister of Education and Culture, Aines Baswedan, opened the symposium with remarks on the importance of working together to create solutions for teaching vulnerable youth in unconventional settings when formal education cannot be the solution. Along with the Minister of Education and Culture, U.S. Ambassador Robert Blake also gave opening remarks during the event. He emphasized the importance of education and encouraged young leaders to network with like-minded individuals to collaborate and develop innovative ways to educate vulnerable youth.
U.S. Ambassador Robert Blake
Regional English Language Officer Jennifer Uhler was the keynote speaker of the symposium. She discussed U.S. perspectives on alternative education in Indonesia and other developing countries. Several organizations also joined the symposium later for a panel discussion on what these organizations have done to enhance access to education for underserved populations. It is hoped that this group discussion can bring into focus new and sustainable ways to cultivate civic and environmental awareness, and help solidify collaboration among this community. The audience brainstormed policy suggestions to be sent to the Minister’s office at his request.