The Global Youth Conference wouldn’t be possible without the dedication and hard work of the GYC Facilitators. In 2019, a diverse group of 9 talented facilitators were selected from all over the world and tasked with delivering the 5th annual Global Youth Conference.

Each facilitator brings with them their own cultural knowledge and a range of perspectives on the common problems the youth of today face. For Sherly Budiman, her experience growing up in Indonesia gives her a unique perspective on this year’s theme of the environment, while her time finishing high school at United World College Dilijan in Armenia put her through some intense lessons on global citizenship.

Having only been 4 years of age when her city of Banda Aceh in Indonesia was hit by the 2004 Earthquake and Tsunami, Sherly is keenly aware of the possibility of climate catastrophe in the future and the impacts it could have on her Island home. In her experience learning about the environment, Indonesia has often been used as a prime example of deforestation, extinction, pollution and natural disasters, a fact she hopes will change in her lifetime. This is a big reason behind the passion she is bringing to the workshop she is delivering.

When asked to describe her cultural identity, she isn’t sure how to answer the question. Ethnically Chinese but born and raised in Indonesia, and having grown up in a country with the biggest Muslim population in the world but identifying herself as a Christian, Sherly has spent the past two years studying in Armenia. This has given her an insightful perspective on Global Citizenship. She says that young people will continually find themselves faced with the ‘challenge of being able to see the world as a united spectrum rather than separated by borders’ but knows that it is important to recognize that ‘differences [are] what truly makes us unique and beautiful’.

It’s a challenge she is relishing as she embarks on an exclusive gap year program after the GYC wraps up. Sherly has secured a scholarship which will see her travel to 10 countries in 9 months, experiencing the culture and developing new skills in each destination.

Sherly applied to be a facilitator because she wanted her first visit to Japan to be ‘as memorable as it could be – which is exactly what the GYC offers’ and her time spent so far at Rokkosan YMCA preparing for the GYC has been ‘full of laughter with precious people’. Her hope for this experience was that she could challenge herself and her own personal values while working collaboratively to deliver the GYC.

From the 6th August – 9th August, Sherly will be leading workshops on Deforestation during the 2019 GYC alongside fellow Facilitator Samuel Chen.