Youth Power and Social Media in Developing The Country

What I Understand about “The Post 2015 Development Agenda” is the agenda of The United Nations to develop the future global in many nations in refers to the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) as a result of the Millennium Summit in 2000. The Development agenda is intended to help define the future global development framework to achieve the Eights Millennium Development Goals as follows:

1. eradicating Extreme poverty and hunger;
2. achieving universal primary education;
3. promoting gender quality and empowering women;
4. reducing child mortality;
5. improving maternal health;
6. combating HIV/AIDS, malaria, and other diseases;
7. ensuring environmental sustainability; and
8. developing a global partnership for development.

What I really concerned about this development agenda is that the agenda is should not be an exclusive agenda of the government. It should be the agenda of the people, the agenda of the community, and the agenda of every single person in the respective country. Indonesia in fact is such a big country, in number of population, wide area of the country, as well as the development problems. This interesting and challenging demography and its problems of Indonesia will be easier to handle if we work together as a nation.

One of its important roles of development agent of the nation is the youth. Instead of their number which is much bigger in the population of this country, the power and the potential of the youth is also significant. There is a well-known proverb says “if you want to take control of a country, then mastering the youth”. The youth is pure energy to develop. Involving the youth as a partner of development will accelerate the development steps.

However, this pure energy should be fulfilled with “the ammunition” to be the agent of change. Education for youth in all aspects of the development is a must in increasing their contribution to the nations. Lack of knowledge is one hidden problems. The more the youth know, the more they can do for the nation. Transfer knowledge about the sustainable development goals and its issues is the first important step to involve them. Knowledge, the comprehensive and proper knowledge to support them in deliberating what development goals would like to achieve.

Next ammunition for this “well-educated, well-trained, well-informed - youth” is the social media. Indonesia is one among the largest social media users in the world: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram. Nowadays, there is a tendency to use blog as a powerful media to influence the people. In fact social media influences in many aspects of lives. Even, the policy making process to some extent has been affected by the power of social media.

The combination of well-informed youth and the social media will be a powerful agent for the future development. Here, I will proudly recognize my youth female friend who has a big contribution to make change the world through the social media. Well, she is actually my cyberspace mate, since we have never met up in face to face. I knew her since I joined in the community of mom blogger as called Kumpulan Emak Blogger. This cyberspace community helps me to connect with many inspiring females – bloggers. Grace Melia, the young 25 years old mother of Aubrey and also expecting another baby in next few months. Aubrey, Gracie’s special need daughter caused by Congenital Rubella Syndrome – is behind her effort in educating people especially women and pregnancy women on the threat of TORCH infection, especially rubella.

Gracie is founder of “Rumah Ramah Rubella”- Rubella Friendly Home. This community established for increasing people awareness on the threat of TORCH infection. This actually done by educating people to: 1) have a screening before marriage, 2) have MMR Vaccination before marriage and 3) have a full screening for newborn baby especially for mom whose TORCH infections history.

The initiative to aim its goal, starting with Facebook Group formation named “Rumah Ramah Rubella”. The community is working on educating people on TORCH infection whether for pregnant women or expecting babies. In fact, TORCH is silent – dangerous – agent that threats quality life of mom and her babies. Most babies were born from infected “TORCH” moms will have a serious problems of their health. 

TORCH syndrome refers to infection of a developing fetus or newborn by any of group of infectious agents. TORCH is an acronym, stand for Toxoplasmosis, Other agents, Rubella (also known as German measles), Cytomegalovirus, and Herpes simplex. Infection with any of these agents may cause a constellation of similar symptoms in affected newborns. These may include fever; difficulties feeding; small areas of bleeding under the skin, causing the appearance of small reddish or purplish spots; enlargement of the liver and spleen; yellowish discoloration of the skin, whites of the eyes, and mucous membranes (jaundice); hearing impairment; abnormalities of the eyes; and/or other symptoms and findings. Each infectious agent may also result in additional abnormalities that may be variable, depending upon a number of factors for example stage of fetal development.

Rumah Ramah Rubella has 4,638 members (updated May 13 2015), I am pretty sure it will increase more and more. The member is not only parents whose TORCH infected problems but also people who care and eager to know and understand on the issue. They mostly work and communicate through the Facebook Group. Member of Rumah Ramah Rubella share their experience and knowledge on TORCH related issues. Moreover, they help, assist, and support one another not only in “cyberspace world” but also in “real world”. They also have a scheduled meet up, seminar, and workshop for disseminating on TORCH issue. All their works managed by themselves, including funding for their activities. The activities are mostly funded by members’ initiative and fund raising.

Gracie also shares her experience in rubella and TORCH issue in her own blog. Actually her blog is not only about TORCH related issues, it is parenting blog. Her experience on how to raise a lovely special need daughter helps reader and other moms who face the similar problems. Grace also have a specific blog on the diary of her daughter Aubrey which then written in a book “Letters to Aubrey”.

TORCH and its dangerous are not quite common and familiar issues in Indonesia. Information on this issue is limited, thus many people who find this problems have no idea on what they experienced, no idea on what to do, and where they should go for solution. In other hand, TORCH infections have significant effect for the quality of life of Indonesia’s next generation. Lack information and its limited access of it result in the doubling effect. Grace together with Rumah Ramah Rubella fight for lack opportunities of people on the comprehensive information on TORCH related issues.

In my opinion what Grace did with her social media support is such real contribution to achieve one of the MDG’s goals, reducing child mortality; improving maternal health; and combating HIV/AIDS, malaria, and other diseases. I believe this is not a small role of the Indonesian youth since Grace’s effort has inspired many other people, especially youth. “You might me a young mom, but you should know better what the best for your babies”. 

I also believe there is “many other Grace” in the whole country, which have a “youth spirit” to change this country, to make a better future not only in the health issue, but in any other concerns. Last but not least, social media has a significant role to support this youth spirit to be part of the countries development.



  1. Love to read this post for sure. I also love Grace's spirit. So inspiring :)

  2. Mudah-mudahan masuk tulisannya ya mak :)

  3. Reading this really slaps me in the face. Buehehe. It made me realize that I don't write as frequent as I did. I think I should work on my time management. Thanks for writing this, Bi Oph. Means a lot :)) So, can this writing be included in the competition??

    1. Yes, it can be included finally...they postponed the closing date.

      Your story indeed inspries youth...keep writing...


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