GMB and YLI: The RealContribution of Indonesian Young Leaders

Janu MuhammadJanu Muhammad is the initiator of Karung Goni Learning Center in Ngemplak, Caturharjo, Sleman, Indonesia. He was graduated from Yogyakarta State University. He is a member of Gerakan Mari Berbagi (GMB) and Young Leaders for Indonesia (YLI) that supported by McKinsey&Company.

Email: [email protected]




Abstract: This article reflect about an amazing experience on Gerakan Mari Berbagi (GMB) and Young Leaders for Indonesia (YLI) during 2014-2015. The author would like to express the magnitude of the potential of Indonesianyouth due to demographic bonus which led youth organizations to grow well.One of the innovations in education iscarried out after joiningGMB and the YLIis the establishment of Omah Baca Karung Goni which has developed into Karung Goni Learning Center in Ngemplak, Caturharjo, Sleman. The main goal is to motivate the children for reading books and pursue to college level. Also in generally, it would be useful to foster the interest of Indonesia young leadersin setting up a library community.

Keywords: GMB, YLI, Indonesia, Young Leaders, Library, Omah Baca Karung Goni, Youth.



A Wonderful Indonesia

Indonesia, a wonderful country on the equator that holds many natural and cultural resources. Volcanoes, white sandy beaches, coral reefs, until the karst hills easily found in every corner of this country. There are 34 provinces that save a million diversities, race, ethnicity, language, or culture. Indonesia is a heaven for those who love adventure, for those who love travelling.

One of the provinces that has excellent tourism spots is Yogyakarta. Yes, Yogyakarta is a famous for its special regions. Inherent designation is City of Education, City of Tourism, City of Culture, City of Culinary, and much more. Every corner is make the newcomers will feel the longing and well memories. The people are friendly and courteous to make tourists comfortable to visit Yogyakarta.People said that a single visit to Jogja is never enough.(1) The list of things you can experience in Jogja may seem overwhelming, ranging from natural splendors, art and tradition and heritages to culinary adventure.

However, behind the natural beauty of Indonesia there are serious problems about the poor quality of human resources. Human Development Index released that Indonesia was ranked 108 in 2013.(2) This ranking is far below neighboring countries such as Singapore and Malaysia. One factor is the low quality of education in Indonesia. With a total population of 250 million, the government has sought to improve educational services for every citizen, even for young generation.

Picture 1. Indonesia Age Structure 2014

Picture 1. Indonesia Age Structure 2014

Source :

This entry provides the distribution of the population according to age. Information is included by sex and age group (0-14 years, 15-64 years, 65 years and over). The age structure of a population affects a nation’s key socioeconomic issues. Countries with young populations (high percentage under age 15) need to invest more in schools, while countries with older populations (high percentage ages 65 and over) need to invest more in the health sector. The age structure can also be used to help predict potential political issues. For example, the rapid growth of a young adult population unable to find employment can lead to unrest.

However, very unfortunate that remote areas are still difficult to access decent education facilities. Including that also occurred in Yogyakarta, precisely in Ngemplak, Caturharjo, Sleman. The problem faced in this village is the limited economic impact on the population’s lack of interest in reading books. Low interest in reading books result in low participation of children to learn and pursue college. As a result, many of them which eventually went to work and got married. In fact, if they go to college then there will be hope of getting a better job.

Seeing these conditions, Ihave an intention to change this situation by empowering the youth in Ngemplak. At the end of 2014, I have a desire to establish a community library. It is my dream since childhood along IRENG youth organizations (Youth Association of Ngemplak). Through the library, I will learn with children. I want once they have high dreams to go to college. Early 2015, there was a meeting which I and some board of IRENG invited by Gadjah Mada University students who would hold social events in Ngemplak. It was great, they will help us to establish a community library. Exactly on January 19, 2015 stood “Omah Baca Karung Goni” that become a home for reading, home to the public in improving the literacy movement.(3)We call it OBKG, so simple. The public and local governments gave a good appreciation. OBKG is became a new initiation to empower the youth through activities in the library. The vision and mission of OBKG among others, as a forum to learn and increase the interest in reading for the community and is expected to contribute to enhancing education quality at Ngemplak in particular and Indonesia in general. I am grateful for this extraordinary gift and being the young librarian.

Gerakan Mari Berbagi (GMB)

In February 2014, I participated in the Youth Adventure and Youth Leaders Forum (YA & YLF) held by Gerakan Mari Berbagi (GMB) or Sharing Movement, an NGO that focused on the formation of the youth to become future leaders.(4) This is the first time I know GMB initiated by Azwar Hasan, a graduate of Harvard University. YA & YLF 2014 which supported by Indonesian Ministry of Youth and Sport held on 1 to 9 February 2014, with the route of Yogyakarta to Jakarta. There are 47 participants were chosen after a competitive selection, ranging from administrative selection, interview and physical tests. They are ‘youth above average’ which come from various backgrounds such as students, journalists, doctors, and soon. We arrived in Yogyakarta and stayed for the night at the camp area. The next day, we traveled as a team. A team of three people. I get a friend from Sulawesi and Aceh. Each participant was given a 10 dollar to live for two nights. This money should be enough to eat, transportation, and the need for the trip. We were forbidden to call a parent, a friend to borrow money, or using private money. We must survive until Jakarta. What is unique, we have to stop in the two cities. The first city has a mission ‘hands on under’ or we accept help from others. The second city is the mission of ‘hands on the top’ or give help to others.

My team arrived in Magelang and finally stayed at home Mrs. Iyah, rice seller in Magelang terminal. She was very kind and helped us, providing a place and food for free. This was the challenge, we must continue to run for help. The people whom we encountered many who give money. They appreciate this activity because to prepare the next Indonesian leaders. Wewere taught to be independent, willing to take risks, and responsibilities in leading the team.
The next day, we arrived in the second city that is Banjarnegara. There we were assisted by the police. We stayed at the police station because it was night. The second city is our mission to share. It’s very challenging, our mental test. During the three-day trip was to make us understand that as a Indonesian young leadersshould be aware for the community. That form of togetherness and the meaning of “Unity in Diversity” as our national motto. Finally, we have arrived safely in Jakarta. Pleasure and pride is a certain satisfaction over this spiritual journey.

Furthermore, the participants attended leadership training at Cibubur Jakarta. The speakers came from NGO activists, ministers, both from within and outside the country. They are very inspiring and remarkable. There is great strength that I feel at the GMB. Until finally, on February 10, 2014 we have returned to their respective provinces. Then, I created a project that focused on education. I initiated GMB 1000 Books with the main aim to collect 1000 books that will be donated to OBKG.(5) Yes, this is the project as a real dedication in the GMB. With the assistance of volunteers, we managed to collect about 1100 books from donors in Indonesia. Their response was very positive because it will be useful for the development OBKG.

Picture 2. Youth Adventure & Youth Leaders Forum 2014

Picture 2. Youth Adventure & Youth Leaders Forum 2014

Source :

A Young Librarian Goes to Australia

In July 2014, I and the alumni of GMB reported the results of our project in front of the nine judges. After a fairly lengthy assessment, finally announced the participants who received the prize for homestay in Australia and Japan. “Thank God, I officially get the chance homestay in Australia along with eight other delegates,” said me. For three weeks in November, I stayed at Elgata Street 22, Brisbane, Queensland. This was my second experience abroad after the year 2013 I attended Utrecht Summer School in the Netherlands. I get a new family, they are Gwenda, Tom, and Alex. They welcome me with a pleasure. We talk to each other, about the life of each country. I also took time to teach Indonesian language (Bahasa Indonesia) in Ferny Grove State High School.(6) Since it was summer, I am very happy to tour, even to New South Wales! Indeed, an unforgettable experience. I also learned, how Australia can be a big country with rapid progress. I also learned, how the role of young people in the organization and community. But, I am 100% still love and proud to live in Indonesia, the homeland which is always missed. GMB has given me a lesson, that tolerance exists.(7)As the youth should be productive in the work. It was great when approaching home, I got a surprise as the best participant in writing articles and the most productive participant.

After go home from Australia, I am trying to share the stories. I have a duty as an ambassador of GMB to share kindness to everyone. I am more motivated to move and continue Omah Baca Karung Goni.(8) Yes, I began to open up a lot of cooperation to collaboration project.Beginning in 2015, the challenge for me more and more. On the one hand, I should soon complete my studies and on the other hand I am very busy to develop OBKG. In late January 2015, I attended the ASEAN University Youth Summit at Universiti Utara Malaysia.(9) The activity aims to bring together the youth in ASEAN to express ideas, as well as volunteerism activities of their respective countries. Each country is entitled to delegate one participant to be the speaker. I represent Indonesia to deliver activities in OBKG. I get a valuable lesson from these activities.

Picture 3. I and Omah Baca Karung Goni (OBKG)

Picture 3. I and Omah Baca Karung Goni (OBKG)

Source : Author’s Documentation

The Young Leaders for Indonesia (YLI)

On May 2015, I get a chance as 60 participants selected to join the Young Leaders for Indonesia (YLI) 2015 organized by McKinsey & Company. To become a participant at this program is not easy. At least there are more than 1,300 people who signed up this year. Selected participants are those who have the ability above average. The Young Leaders for Indonesia was Launched in 2008 and continues today under the name of YLI National.(10) Since its inception, the National program has developed a pool of 280 top talents. YLI National is an annual program conducted in Jakarta with Indonesian top students Chosen to Participate through a rigorous selection process. The program’s of participants are represented by 30 universities from across Indonesia, Malaysia and Singapore.

Over the course of the six-month program, the YLI National of participants attended the three forums with Lead Self, Team Lead and Lead Change as the respective themes, and with the PLP and BLP assignments in between forums. Besides engaging of participants in the training modules and project development and management experiences, we also invite prominent Indonesian leaders to share leadership Reviews their personal paths. Speakers in the YLI National included: Mrs. Tri Mumpuni (Director of IBEKA), Mr Anies Baswedan (President of Paramadina University), Mr Alexander Rusli (President Director and CEO of Indosat), Mr. Handry Satriago (CEO of GE Indonesia), Mr. Fuad Rahmany (Director General of Tax, Ministry of Finance), Mr. Basuki T. Purnama (Vice Governor of DKI Jakarta), Mr Kuntoro (Head of UKP4), Mr Gita Wirjawan (Minister of Trade), Mrs. Martha Tilaar (Founder and Owner of Martha Tilaar Group) and others.

The YLI program is designed to enhance the of participants’ leadership skills, equip them with unique problem solving skills and build a network among the high-performing students across Indonesia.To achieve this, the work of participants through three forums over 6 months; Them Reviews These provide the conceptual framework and practical skills to lead self (Forum 1), leads others (Forum 2) and lead change (Forum 3). During the program, the of participants are exposed to a network of high-performing, inspirational leaders who are invited as speakers and facilitators.

Between forums, the of participants are required to work on real-life projects in order to apply and practice the skills and frameworks learned during the forums.

The Young Leaders for Indonesia Foundation was established in 2010. The Foundation is funded in part by McKinsey & Company, roomates also serves as the knowledge partner, and Indonesian companies as program partners. All believe in the values ​​of the YLI program and share the vision of future leaders’ development as a critical component underlying supporting the growth of Indonesia.Indonesia is a member of the G20, ranks as the 3rd reviews largest democracy in the world, with 240 million people and rich natural resources; it has increasingly played an important role in the global stage. According to the report by the McKinsey Global Institute (The archipelago economy: Unleashing Indonesia’s potential) Indonesia could Become the 7th Reviews largest economy in the world by 2030. To realize Indonesia’s economic potential, the country has to address critical challenges Including the projected shortage of 60 million skilled and semi-skilled workers in its labor force. The YLI Foundation Believes that to help Unleash Indonesia’s potential will require a growing cadre of world-class leaders with strong leadership skills, a global mindset, and knowledge of local culture and traditions. The Foundation is fully committed to address the need of talent and leadership development in Indonesia.

 Picture 4. Attending the YLI Forum 1

Picture 4. Attending the YLI Forum 1

Source : Author’s Documentation

The YLI Foundation has expanded the program in order to deliver a scalable impact; it offers 2 programs which are run in a parallel annually: the YLI National Program and the YLI Satellite Program. These programs support and develop the participants’ personal and professional skills over the course of 6-months. After graduating from the program, the participants become members of the YLI Community as they launch their respective personal leadership paths.A key component in the continued development of these young leaders arises from the creation of a vibrant network across three generations of Indonesian leaders encompassing the Foundation patrons, board members, established leaders and the YLI program graduates. In addition, the Foundation has now initiated the YLI Faculty Network enabling select program graduates to participate directly in program delivery. This functions as a capacity building program for the alumni to be part of the YLI faculty, enabling them to give back to future program participants, and creating another leadership development opportunity for them.

The YLI Forum 1 for 2015 was held on 23-24 May 2015 with full of leadership training. For two days, all participants joined the discussion to trainthecritical thinkingasa youth and agent of change. After completion of the event, each participant is obliged to do Personal leadership Project (PLP) for two monts. I just continued and developed Omah Baca Karung Goni to be Karung Goni Learning Center (KGLC). It has three focuses such as Library Service, Non Formal Education, and Youth Empowerment. We invited some organizations and local government (Sleman Regency) to make collaboration. I empower the youth from Ngemplak, also from others partnership (Nanyang Technological University’s Students) who had a social activities in the end of May 2015 in KGLC. On June 2015, I and KGLC received an award as the 1st winner of Youth Initiator Competition in Sleman Regency held by Ministry of Youth and Sport Republic Indonesia.(11)

Reflection : The RealContributionof Indonesian Young Leaders

My reflection which I could do so far is about how to create a positive impact on youth activities to create a better Indonesia. I am aware that Indonesia will become a great country with the role of youth. From the GMB and YLI,I learned, that there must be a real contribution made by the youth where theylived as a good step to be Indonesian young leaders. There must be a dedication that shouldgiven before working in company or somewhere else.I am convinced that the struggle of Indonesian youth today will bring positive change to Indonesia in the future. Through my role and all volunteers in Karung GoniLearning Center, there will be concrete results where children can reach of college level and achieve their dreams.

“Good Habits Formed at Youth Make All The Difference” by Aristotle

Picture 5. A Collaboration With NTU Singapore 

Picture 5. A Collaboration With NTU Singapore

Source : Author’s Documentation


References :

(1)    D.I. Yogyakarta. 2015. accessed on 26 July 2015.

(2)    Human Development Index and its components. 2013. accessed on 26 July 2015.

(3)    Mahasiswa Asrama UGM Dirikan ‘Omah Baca Karung Goni’. 2014. .karung.goni%E2%80%99 accessed on 26 July 2015.

(4)    Gerakan Mari Berbagi. 2014. accessed on 26 July 2015.

(5)    Gerakan Mari Berbagi 1000 Buku. 2014. accessed on 26 July 2015.

(6)    Proud to Learn Bahasa Indonesia. 2015. accessed on 26 July 2015.

(7)    Religion is The Human Right: Choose it Or Skip it. 20144. accessed on 26 July 2015.

(8)    Mahasiswa UNY Ikuti Homestay di Australia. 2014.

(9)    ASEAN University Youth Summit. 2015. accessed on 26 July 2015.

(10)Young Leaders for Indonesia. 2015. accessed on 26 July 2015.

(11) Seleksi Pemuda Pelopor: Dedikasi untuk Kabupaten Sleman. 2015. accessed on 26 July 2015.


This article was published on August 12, 2015, for the International Youth Day, in Global Education Magazine.

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