Senjaya Mulia is the Founder of ASEAN Youth Organization, working on youth empowerment, economic enhancement and social volunteerism. ASEAN Youth Organization comprises more than 400,000 Southeast Asian youth and spreads awareness of ASEAN to over 200 million young people in Southeast Asia. Senjaya also teaches at several universities as guest lecturer on subjects related to capacity building and self-development.
[Below are some highlights from the interview that are edited for clarity.]
It is coming from my personal story. When I was a kid, access to education was quite challenging for the people around me and me. I lived in a small village. I had to work and earn money while I needed to go to school. Education is not accessible to everyone. People have different access to education and some basic needs to live as humans. Thus, I started this organization because education is fundamental.
A few years ago, I stayed in Thailand. I saw people who were very interested in the ASEAN Community, especially ASEAN integration and ASEAN Economic Community, and so on. I joint the ASEAN community on Facebook page to promote friendship among ASEAN youth in 2012. After joining that page, I created something more real, which is an organization.
In Indonesia, some people don’t even give any comments or have any idea of ASEAN things. When I returned to Indonesia in 2013, I created the ASEAN Youth Organization with my Cambodian friend. Finally, we are here, having a big organization focused on ASEAN related topics such as education and youth empowerment program.
Message to young people
You stay positive and productive and create an impact on people who are living around us. That could be good for everyone.