Empowered youth are youth who recognize their potential and are willing and capable of taking action to address issues in their village by maximizing all available resources and opportunities. As a customary community, it is essential for the youth in Wansar Hamlet, Fena Leisela Subdistrict, Buru Regency, to understand their identity as indigenous people, their potential and strengths as a customary community, and their ability to bring sustainable changes for the progress of their homeland.
In the Wansar Community Development Program, for approximately 5 days, young people and even parents, including the elders and village leaders, gathered to learn together about self-awareness and collaboration in implementing social programs for their community. This activity took place in the Baileo of Wansar and was a collaborative effort between SDN 16 Fena Leisela, the Pohon Sagoe Maluku Foundation, and Inspiring Development. The program was supported by the US Community Solutions Program through the Community Collaboration Impact Grant awarded to two CSP program alumni, Mega Pattiasina and Dorisco Kainama.
Around 35 young people, parents, and indigenous elders attended the activities for 5 days. The community showed great enthusiasm for learning, even though some of them were not literate. They learned from morning until sometimes in the evening during the 5-day training. In this training, the community learned:
- Recognizing personal identity, including strengths and community strengths.
- Learning how to build cooperation through dialogue with others and conflict management.
- Mapping the community, including strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats.
- Creating joint programs for community progress.
From these activities, the youth and parents agreed to establish a program for processing essential oil from kayu putih (cajuput) trees. The income of this product will be used for the benefit of the community. This activity was highly beneficial for the community as it provided new insights for the people of Wansar. They gained some understanding of their own potential and the potential of their homeland, and learned how to utilize them for collective progress while preserving their indigenous identity, culture, and local environment.
In addition to these activities, literacy, critical thinking, and creative activities through science and art were also organized for the children at SDN 16 Fena Leisela. One of the youth named Dayat Waimese expressed gratitude for the team’s efforts in traveling a long way to provide training for the community there. To reach Wansar, the journey was undertaken by motorcycle from the parent village of Wamana Baru, lasting approximately 2.5 hours, passing through forests, mountains, and dirt roads.