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Climate change no joke as Indonesia goes for a song
06 February 2010

Jakarta, Indonesia: UNV Indonesia organized a comic competition with high schools, titled the 'Green comic competition'. We made Indonesian students express in a creative way how climate change is endangering the achievements of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) in their everyday lives.

A workshop was held in collaboration with the UNDP Environment Unit, MDG Campaign Office and Matoa, an important Indonesian environmental NGO. During the workshop we gave to 150 students all the elements they needed to deepen their knowledge on climate change and the MDGs, and also on how to draw comics.

After two weeks they submitted very interesting comics showing their full understanding of the subject and amazing drawing capacities.   The four winning classes have been given awards on the occasion of the 'Stand Up Take Action Against Poverty now!' event by UNV, the MDG Campaign and one of the Deputy of the National Agency for Development (BAPPENAS). Their comics have been printed out and distributed in UNV and UNDP initiatives and events, and also exhibited.

Then UNV, together with other international volunteer-based organizations, under the umbrella of the International Volunteer Forum, launched a songwriting competition titled 'Song for the Planet'. We involved Indonesians from the age of 18 to express their concern on environment in an artistic way.

The main prize for the three winners was to see their songs performed by important Indonesian bands during IVD celebrations on 5 December in Jakarta, plus they will receive vouchers to be spent in book and music shops.

On 5 December was an all-day event in a public park in Jakarta. The morning started with a tree planting initiative in support to the national 'One man one tree campaign' launched by the President DR.H. Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono.

The Minister of Social Affairs, along with the Minister of Home Affairs, the UN Resident Coordinator, the Governor of Jakarta and the Australian Ambassador participated and delivered their remarks on the importance of volunteerism for development, and in particular for the environment.  They also took part in the tree planting together with students.

Afterwards students attended eco-classes meant to raise their awareness on the environment, teach them how to reduce their carbon footprint and minimize their waste. Throughout the day were photo and green comic exhibitions, information booths managed by national and international volunteer-based organizations, traditional music and dance, batik with natural colours workshops and live music with the awarding of the song for the planet competition.

Besides the above mentioned initiatives focused  on the environment, UNV also supported HIV/AIDS organizations which decided to mark World AIDS Day on 5 December in order to recognize the important role of volunteerism in creating awareness on those diseases. They organized a one day event near Jakarta, involving around 1,000 people from schools and communities.