In the words of Bayu Satria: "To truly build a peaceful community, we have to work with everyone”


Interviewer: Ratu Bintang Assyifa Arweys

Photo: UN Women/Ratu Bintang Assyifa Arweys
Bayu Satria poses in Yogyakarta, Indonesia on 16 August 2023. Photo: UN Women/Ratu Bintang Assyifa Arweys

Bayu Satria is a young entrepreneur in Aceh, Indonesia. He founded Aceh Youth Action, which works on child and adolescent health, as well as Atefulawan Production, a digital media company that also helps survivors of gender-based violence. He participated in Youth Camp: Empowering Youths as Peacebuilders through Creative Industries, organized by UN Women in Yogyakarta, Indonesia on 14-17 August 2023. The Government of the Netherlands funded the Youth Camp.

As a young person with a disability, I feel disengaged by the segmented youth movement in my community. That’s why I founded Aceh Youth Action, a platform to improve health for children and youths from all backgrounds and affiliations. At the moment, 30 per cent of our members are youths with disabilities, and 50 per cent are young women. Aceh Youth Action is also committed to giving a platform to the work of young women and we fund projects led by young women every year.

More importantly, Aceh Youth Action has also become a place where we can all learn to honour our humanity. People with disabilities are not full of sadness but are fun to be with, and gender minority groups are the same as everyone else.

I learned that to truly build a peaceful community, we have to work with everyone. If we only work with a particular community, others might feel excluded and this will cause resentment or even conflict. When we work with everyone, we echo the values of peace from every corner.

We are committed to training young creative women and ensuring that 50 per cent of our employees are women. Atefulawan’s office also functions as a safe place for victims of violence against women and children, in cooperation with a local non-governmental organization, Yayasan Rumoh Putroe Aceh. Victims can call them and arrange a meeting at our office, or they can come and meet our staff who are all trained in first aid for victims of violence.

Being a youth is difficult, even more so for young women and youths with disabilities. Someone with talent and potential may not have access to the right opportunities because of their identity. I believe it is our duty to democratize opportunities and support each other.

I have found myself only being involved and interviewed when it’s about disability, even when I have other talents and skills. I aim to create a space where youths can be appreciated in their full humanity, above their disability or gender identity.”