Beijing+30 Youth Blog: Don’t let your fears stop you from achieving your dreams


Author: Salma Amanda Latifa

Salma Amanda Latifa, 20, Indonesia. Photo: Courtesy of Salma Amanda Latifa
Salma Amanda Latifa, 20, Indonesia. Photo: Courtesy of Salma Amanda Latifa

Everyone have experienced unpleasant experiences during their school days, including myself. Five years ago, when I was in high school, I was a victim of verbal bullying by some male classmates. It all started when a teacher asked us to write our biographies. Being a young girl who enjoys writing, I poured out everything about myself, and the dreams I hoped would come true in the future in my biography.

I felt no burden when doing the task; everything flowed with joy and excitement as I worked on it. I was happy to write and share my dreams with my friends. However, an unpleasant incident occurred back then. When I was presenting my biography, some male classmates in my class mocked and belittled my dreams. They said I was just ‘an ordinary girl not worthy of such high dreams’, especially when I expressed my desire to pursue my aspirations abroad.

I felt sad at that time because they mocked and belittled the dreams I had cherished since childhood, and my other friends couldn't react. They stayed silent and stared at me blankly as if nothing had happened there.

Time passed slowly, and as I prepared to enter college, a female friend from high school introduced me to a platform called UReport Indonesia. At first, I was confused about what to do with this platform until somebody posted an announcement about an event called “The Goodness Webinar”. Despite not yet being in college but already being accepted into one, I decided to join the event to fill my spare time.

I felt nervous when participating in that activity because the discussion turned out to be related to bullying. Since the end of my high school days, I became sensitive to anything related to bullying. Hearing the word or reading posts on social media about it made my heartbeat faster. However, I decided to overcome those feelings slowly. I always told myself that I could face this.

Several months later, I became actively involved in activities organized by UReport Indonesia. These activities helped me in many ways, especially in developing my self-confidence. I was no longer afraid to express myself as long as it was for good things. Equally enjoyable was meeting new friends from various regions of Indonesia.

While participating in activities on that platform, I co-founded Jagajiwa with three other friends from the Generasi Terampil program. This platform aims to be a good listener to fellow young people's stories. It is a joy to listen to their stories and help them face their problems. This platform also opened my eyes to the fact that I wasn't the only one experiencing those issues; many other young Indonesian women were going through similar things to what I experienced in high school.

Moreover, thanks to this platform, I also met a woman who invited me to join as a Content Researcher in a community called Growth Mindset Perempuan Indonesia. This community aims to support Indonesian women in living independently, expressing themselves, and following the dreams of Ibu Kartini, a national hero who fought for the independence and emancipation of women in Indonesia.

The Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action, adopted in 1995, made comprehensive commitments for women under 12 critical areas of concern: poverty, education and training, health, violence, armed conflict, economics, power and decision-making, institutional arrangements, human rights, media, environment, and the girl child. Thirty years later, these commitments continue to be very relevant.

I´m glad that the Growth Mindset Perempuan Indonesia community has taught me about the importance of advocating for gender equality and creating environments that support women in achieving their full potential. Through educational programs, training, and advocacy efforts, this community strives to drive positive change in society by empowering women to take an active role in national development.

I believe Indonesian women have the right to dream as high as the sky and, together, prove that when Indonesian women unite and support each other, nothing is impossible to achieve.

Salma Amanda Latifa. Photo: Courtesy of Salma Amanda Latifa
Salma Amanda Latifa. Photo: Courtesy of Salma Amanda Latifa


Salma Amanda Latifa, 20, is pursuing a degree in management at Lambung Mangkurat University in Indonesia. She seizes every opportunity to gain experience and hone her skills while making a positive impact on society. She is deeply involved in volunteering activities and is a co-creator of a platform called Jagajiwa, which serves as a free counseling space for young people facing problems. Additionally, she actively participates in various activities with UNICEF, Growth Mindset Perempuan Indonesia and UReport Indonesia, where she was selected as Youth Kindness Indonesia 2021 and Generasi Terampil in 2022.

Instagram: @irn.mndy18