Youth-led network YSC at the helm of sanitation and hygiene systems change in Indonesia


News

Sanitation is not a hot topic and many people are not interested to talk about it. However, seeing young people dedicate themselves and raise their voices around this issue reassures me that the future is in the right hands. – Maria Carreiro – WASH Sector Leader – SNV in Indonesia (2014-2020). 

The Youth with Sanitation Concern (YSC) network was formed in 2018, shortly after the SNV-organised Youth Sanitation Camp at Bandar Lampung, Lampung Province, Indonesia.[1] Since then, YSC has been partnering with SNV to improve sanitation and hygiene practices in the city.

Holding the view that young people are agents of change who can assist governments in realising healthier, more resilient, and inclusive societies – SNV believes that young people have what it takes to help Indonesia reach its Sustainable Development Goal 6 targets by 2030.

From the Youth Sanitation Camp, I learnt that sanitation has implications not only for people’s health and hygiene, but also for the economy and access to education. We are motivated individuals who want to become agents of change for sanitation, said Naili Rahmah, a YSC member, while recalling the time when she and her friends decided to form YSC.

Today, YSC comprises 47 members.

Through their advocacy work and joint actions, they are encouraging communities to embrace safe sanitation and hygiene practices. Learn about YSC and view member testimonies in this video. 

Many decision-makers and stakeholders have started taking notice of YSC’s contributions.

With Bandar Lampung’s Provincial Health Office staff, YSC members are engaging in social media campaigns, podcast discussions and webinars to raise awareness of young people and the larger society on coronavirus prevention measures. Simultaneously, members are also promoting improvements in WASH services in Pesawahan village, Bandar Lampung.

We are thankful for YSC participation in accelerating safely managed sanitation in Bandar Lampung City,’ said Khaidarmansyah, Head of Bappeda, the planning agency of Bandar Lampung City.

Together with SNV, YSC is mentoring students to take better care of and hygienically use WASH facilities in campus to ascertain the sustainability and delivery of long-lasting WASH services. In Lampung university, Mitha, Chief Editor of the student paper Teknokra said, ‘Partnering with YSC has provided us with new insights into sanitation issues. Now, sanitation is featured often in our school paper and online media.’

Similarly, YSC’s advocacy efforts are receiving recognition at global level, making the network a reliable and trusted youth network for WASH in Indonesia.

In 2020 YSC received funding from The International Secretariat for Water (ISW) and Solidarity Water Europe (SWE). This funding is now being used to enhance water access, sanitation and hygiene behaviours as a means to safeguard populations from the COVID-19 spread. More recently, YSC’s head was awarded the 2021 Ton Schouten Award by IRC in the Hague.  

 

Notes

[1] SNV's partnership with youth-led groups and youth organisations is supported by the Government of the Netherlands-financed WASH SDG programme, which is being coordinated by Simavi. 

Iffah Rachmi

Project Officer - WASH