Story From Penang : Learning Experience during APUF7 by UN Habitat& Partners


Written by:

Fithrothul Khikmah (ASEC Structure)

A spirit form Children and Youth Assembly 2019, a forum to gather and discuss urban agenda at the regional level throughout Asia-Pacific cities from diverse groups and organizations representing children and youth is changes, impossible mean I’m possible. As youths, as a global community, the Children and Youth Assembly have commitments on three main targets. Firstly, to minimize and possibly eradicate the use of single-use plastics, to use more public transportation and be more open to volunteering in sectors and projects that are aligned to achieving Sustainable Development Goals.
APUF 7 is the most urban forum with more than 4,000 participants, discussed critical issues, connected to stakeholders and policymakers. Personally, I learned a lot from this forum. I met many inspired people who care about the grassroots, who care with disabilities, who bravely talked about their ideas. Many organizations present their initiatives and projects in Urban Innovation panels, which showed that urban is part of any stakeholders which growing well if all elements support each other.

I attend many panels related to data and technologies, the most topic I am concerned about. The developments are in various field areas. Growing faster. We can’t stop, looking around or standing. Give more input to get smarter, get innovation into the system. Smart City is running. People around the world collaborate to make cities better and help all elements work better. Indonesia seems to be run faster to be able to have the same track as other countries, positively.

Malaysian people often told me a lot using their languages, without asked me before. I just smiling and listening to them, then said sorry because I can’t understand their conversation well, I can’t speak Malay. Ngapak and Malay are very different, right? Ya.

Penang is a quiet city. It was very nice to stay there. No traffic. I can drink water without cooking it. Just filter with the pure machine to omit the glare. I often hear people speak more Chinese than Malay, but English better for me even though my English not very good.
I realized that the world is too large for our perspective but too narrow to make networks that make the entire world connected. A big thanks to ASEC which offered us a scholarship to attend APUF 7 as the ASEC representatives. It’s the biggest international forum I’d ever participated in.

Hopefully, ASEC always becomes an inspiring platform for youths to learn together. Are you interested to join us? Come and make changes together.
I just wanna say, if you are a student, youth, or professional of any age, I suggest you participate in international forums. It’s not only to increase your network, but also to open your opportunity in a global career. If you are not confident to speak English, don’t be shy, just practice it. Not all the participant in global forums are native speakers. don’t worry, we normally learn and respect each other.

At the end of this, I want to tell you something. On the last day, I invited as a guest speaker or discussant in one of the UN-Habitat panels. It was many things. In fact, I got the message at night but opened it the next morning. I didn’t know what I felt at the time, excited and anxious. I took this opportunity. Subsequently, I felt even more terrible when the committee sends me guidance. All of the guest speakers have good experienced and I the only one who was not yet, I guess. I tried to stay calm, outlined and ensured the content to Mba Emmy. Fortunately, she gave me feedback soon. I finally passed it with a smile, some of the audiences expressed their interest and came to say thanks after this session. I realized that I did any mistakes in grammar and pronunciation. I have to improve my English more. So Guys, don’t worry, practice your English, you will get an unforgettable experience.

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