JAKARTA – Today, the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), together with partners Meta and Love Frankie, awarded the grand prize of the Saring Daring University Challenge (“U-Challenge”) to a team of students from Nusa Cendana University (Undana) in Kupang, East Nusa Tenggara. The winners created two videos effectively illustrating the importance of critical thinking and online privacy.
This event marks the culmination of U-Challenge, which engaged nearly 200 university students across six universities. The competition harnessed the creativity and enthusiasm of young Indonesians to promote digital literacy, critical thinking, and positive online messages through 90-second videos.
Representatives from USAID, Meta, industry mentors, and six partner universities nationwide gathered at the Saring Daring U-Challenge National Summit to celebrate the students’ journey of developing creative content to educate Indonesian citizens on best practices for staying safe online and practicing responsible digital citizenship. Students from Universitas Airlangga in East Java, Universitas Mulawarman in East Kalimantan, Universitas Multimedia Nusantara in Banten, Universitas Nusa Cendana in East Nusa Tenggara, Universitas Tanjungpura in West Kalimantan, and Universitas Sriwijaya in South Sumatra participated in the competition.
“The United States is a proud supporter of creative young Indonesians as they promote open, inclusive, and secure digital ecosystems,” said USAID Indonesia Mission Director Jeff Cohen. “The Saring Daring University-Challenge program shows that when young people are given the right tools, incredible ideas and solutions will follow.”
Students shared about their experiences working with industry mentors, key lessons learned, and the importance of educating their networks about topics such as fostering positive online spaces, promoting digital democracy, protecting personal data, and using critical thinking to navigate through online misinformation.
“At Meta, we always listen, learn and get inspired by local communities. We are very excited to see so much creativity from the young participants who joined the program,” said Dessy Septiane Sukendar, Public Policy Manager at Meta for Indonesia. “I would like to congratulate all the winners of the Saring Daring challenge, and show our appreciation to all participants for their thoughtful and enthusiastic participation. We celebrate the creativity that brings life to our digital citizenship vision that makes our online spaces safe and comfortable.”
The winning team received seed funding to support additional content creation to promote positive online spaces in their community. Through the U-Challenge program, USAID, Meta, and Love Frankie continue to build the skills of young Indonesians to become competent and informed citizens in the digital age.