Jakarta, 7 October 2022 – ASEAN Foundation, with support from the US Mission to ASEAN and Google.org, proudly officiated today 20 members of the ASEAN Youth Advisory Group (ASEAN YAG) who will lead an awareness-raising campaign to combat misinformation and disinformation across ASEAN.
The 20 young changemakers were selected out of hundreds of candidates for their ability to become the voice of good to reach out to the grassroot communities and raise the awareness of digital literacy as well as demonstrate their deep understanding of local context. Hailing from across ten ASEAN countries, they share the same mission to fight misinformation and disinformation in the region.
ASEAN is not immune to the threat of misinformation and disinformation. With increasing internet penetration across the ASEAN region, information has a powerful role in society, but there is a lag in awareness of how to identify misleading information. The members of ASEAN YAG will play pivotal roles in bridging this gap by spreading awareness about the importance of digital literacy in their communities through creative, and, most importantly, localised approach.
In Indonesia, the work of ASEAN YAG will be led by Faransina Olivia Rumere and Nissi Taruli Felicia. Both have been working closely with vulnerable communities, such as deaf and marginalised people in the country. Before carrying out their role as members of ASEAN YAG, Olivia and Nissi will receive a series of capacity building that will equip them with the necessary knowledge and skills to conduct successful campaigns.
The inauguration of the members of ASEAN YAG marks another key milestone in the journey of ASEAN Digital Literacy Programme (ASEAN DLP), a 2-year regional initiative that aims to build stronger digital literacy among ASEAN people. Supported by USD 1.5 million grant from Google.org, the ASEAN Foundation will conduct, through ASEAN DLP, a series of impactful activities that include deep-dive research, curriculum development, and training-of-trainer with a goal of equipping over 1,000 trainers with the right skills and materials to deliver digital literacy training to more than 100,000 people in their local communities.
“We are proud to support the ASEAN Foundation in empowering people across the region with crucial media literacy skills that will be key in enabling them to remain vigilant as they navigate an increasingly online world. There is no doubt that the youth leaders and changemakers appointed today will play a pivotal role in reaching deep within their communities to leverage various technologies and empower themselves, as well as those around them, to tackle misinformation. We are looking forward to the strides that this initiative will bring in creating a safer digital space within the ASEAN region”, Marija Ralic, Lead for Google.org APAC.
“Today’s inauguration serves as one of the most important achievements of ASEAN DLP. These 20 young changemakers will stand at the forefront of our efforts in strengthening the digital literacy skills of ASEAN citizens, transforming them into agents of change that can combat online misinformation and disinformation,” said Dr. Yang Mee Eng, Executive Director of ASEAN Foundation.
“This is a world-class program – through the campaigns this Youth Advisory Group creates and the education, training, and digital upskilling provided by the ASEAN Foundation and supported by Google.org, more than 100,000 people of all ages and experience levels over the next two years will be given the tools and knowledge they need to fight back against misinformation. This partnership, which was announced at the May 2022 U.S.-ASEAN Special Summit, is yet another example of the commitment of the American people to Southeast Asia.” U.S. Ambassador to ASEAN Yohannes Abraham.
In the event, more than 30 key stakeholders of ASEAN attended and witnessed the inauguration, including the representatives of 15 local implementing partners of ASEAN DLP. The event was opened with a series of speeches from ASEAN Foundation and the US Mission to ASEAN. It was then proceeded by a talk show on the power of information, the trend on disinformation today, and how to become a smart digital citizen involving Arianne Santoso from Google Indonesia, Cindy May McGuire, the crowned Miss International Indonesia 2022, and Nissi Taruli Felicia, a striking hearing-impaired, as representative from the ASEAN YAG.