“Play for Peace for me is a very flexible mediator or tool or space you can tailor to each group to fit into your own needs in purpose of building peace. That is what I really I love about Play for Peace: flexibility and tailored made components so that each club can have their own identity and freedom to use Play for Peace to fit in their own culture.”
I am a Ph.D. student in University of Wisconsin Milwaukee Social Foundations of Education program. I am originally from Indonesia and I always have a deep passion on youth related work. My involvement with youth development has accumulated over 16 years of combined education, volunteer, and professional work. The volunteer and professional experience spans the age range (6 to 24 years old) of multicultural children and youth, in a variety of environments. I began as a mentor for disadvantaged children and youth in Surabaya, Indonesia for six years. This was followed by graduate studies in the United States where I was able to integrate theory with practical application in a yearlong participatory assessment for Ke Ola Hou, a native Hawaiian youth mentoring organization.
I worked closely with the youth and adult mentors in assessing their mentoring program and organization. The organization used my assessment as a guideline for future program development. I also co-conducted a two-year research project analyzing an education policy development process in Alberta, Canada, involving a youth-led participatory process to influence policy formulation. I expanded my experience with a yearlong qualitative research of an after-school program in a Chicago High School. This study explored the impact of peacebuilding on youth development and leadership. The “Play for Peace” program provided the students a safe haven among the gang violence in their neighborhoods while transforming them into “youth peace leaders.” The youth successfully conveyed and practiced this concept with their peers, family, and communities. Currently I am conducting my dissertation research on youth leadership and civic engagement in children’s rights based youth organization in Surabaya, Indonesia.