youth helping youth

In this series, we have set out to share some stories about CHOICE’s impact: the stories of young people we are able to change together with our partners.

This story is about Retno from Indonesia, and how she gained more confident and became a peer educator.

The previous


Retno (21) is a young woman from Makassar, Indonesia. Before she joined ARI, an Indonesian organization of young people concerned with youth affairs and human rights, Retno was an active student with a small job. She wasn’t really aware about her rights as a young person, nor did she have a lot of knowledge about sexual health and rights.



Retno joined ARI in April 2013, through an online open recruitment. She hoped that by joining ARI, she could make many new friends and network with other youth advocates. She soon felt that this was indeed the case. Retno: “Now I know about young people’s issues and I feel more active and confident in social activities”.

“I am part of youth and i can help other young people and be their friend if they need advice from me. ”




Because of ARI, Retno gained a lot of knowledge and learned many new skills. Through trainings organized by ARI, in cooperation with CHOICE, Retno learned about different aspects of young people’s sexual and reproductive health and rights. She was also taught how to manage social media.

Retno: “Now that I’m with ARI, I am able to organize community social media and participate in sessions about young people’s issues with my peers.” Retno also experienced changes in her behavior. She’s now more open to other people and cares for those who need her. Becoming a peer educator might have been the most important change for Retno: “I am part of youth and I can help other young people and be their friend if they need advice from me”.


The Aliansi Remaja Independen  (ARI; independent youth alliance) is an Indonesian organization of young people concerned with youth affairs and human rights. ARI envisages a society in which young people are empowered, equal, independent, responsible, fulfill their rights and participate actively in every aspect of development. They aim to work meaningfully with government agencies, civil societies, youth groups and development partners to ensure that all young people reach their optimum health and complete compulsory education. ARI’s strengths are advocacy and engaging young people meaningfully. They carry out advocacy work at the local, national and international level in the pursuit of equal rights for youth in Indonesia. ARI also aims to celebrate (sexual) diversity of young people through the promotion of the rights of marginalized young people. Members of ARI are, amongst others, young people living with HIV, young sex workers, young men having sex with men, transgender youth, students, activists and young religious leaders. CHOICE and ARI became partners in 2011. Together we work on advocacy skills, internal communication and capacity building strategies. ARI and CHOICE are currently working together within the Get Up Speak Out program, the Yes I Do program and the Right Here Right Now program.

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Stories of change

a vibrant youth advocate

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