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Flowing Futures and Profiles of Young Water Warriors at UWRC 2024

In 2023, 25 teams consisting of young water leaders from Southeast Asia participated in the UNESCO Water Resilience Challenge to compete in developing ideas and solutions for water-related issues faced in numerous UNESCO-sites across the region. From this vibrant pool of talent, seven finalists emerged to continue their journey into 2024, the second phase of the competition – road to Bali.

Team Banyu from Indonesia

This group of Indonesian youths stumbled upon the competition through one of their university lecturers. Comprising both environmental engineering and architecture students, they bring a wealth of experience in education and capacity building to the table, each having been involved in various forms of such initiatives prior to the competition.
Despite feeling a hint of insecurity about their ideas, these youths are brimming with excitement for the implementation process. To stay motivated, they indulge in daydreams about their upcoming time in Bali, the ultimate reward of the competition. These fantasies help them maintain a positive and hopeful outlook on their team’s prospects.

Team AquaCleanse from Cambodia

Inspired by their passion for community empowerment, these young water warriors from Cambodia embarked on a mission to implement sustainable solutions. Their vision extended beyond mere purification; they sought to establish a comprehensive water and waste management system by installing compost toilets.
During their participation in UWRC 2023, they discovered that their greatest joy stemmed from collaborating and brainstorming together. Despite the challenges, they found it both exhilarating and rewarding to witness the evolution of their ideas as they bounced off each other. Eager to continue nurturing their collective vision, they look forward to further growth and implementation as a super team.

Make Water OK from Malaysia

Coming from Malaysia, this dedicated and ambitious group of youths shares a common goal: to hone their skills in transforming existing data into practical solutions, focusing on landslide risk mitigation and smart water management. With backgrounds spanning artificial intelligence and marine biology, they leverage their diverse expertise to benefit the community through digital innovation.
Pooling their differences, they find strength in unity, each member contributing unique insights that collectively enhance their capabilities. Their vision includes developing a web application for predicting landslide risks and visualizing water usage patterns, leveraging past data to inform future actions.
Confident in the uniqueness of their idea, these youths eagerly anticipate showcasing their innovation at the World Water Forum 10 in Bali. The prospect of victory excites and drives them to push their limits and deliver exceptional results.

Team Ecosolver from Timor-Leste

Ecosolvers, a dedicated group of animal lovers from Timor-Leste, is on a mission to implement a water harvesting concept in the Nino Konis Santana National Park, aimed at supporting the diverse bird and deer populations in the area.
Throughout their journey, they’ve encountered several disagreements about their ideas, exacerbated by the fact that their team members hail from different regions of the country, leading to communication challenges. Nevertheless, they persevere with high spirits, determined to achieve the best possible outcome in the competition.

Team Kemujan from Indonesia

Having known each other for quite some time since the start of their university days where they were placed together in the same study program, this team stumbled upon the competition through Asia Water Challenge’s Instagram page. The inspiration behind their team’s name stems from their shared journey leading up to the competition. Initially selecting Karimun Jawa as their challenge location, which they affectionately refer to as Kemujan, they believe the name should remain as a reminder of how far they’ve come.
Despite facing incredibly tight schedules and individual agenda conflicts, they overcame these obstacles by rallying together and collectively picking up the slack. Viewing the challenge as both a fun opportunity to network and practice their English, they embraced the experience wholeheartedly.
Their unwavering drive to emerge victorious stems from the community’s eager anticipation of their proposed ideas for the competition: a water harvesting system utilizing sustainable materials.

Team AquaGuardian from Philippines

AquaGuardian, a spirited group of Filipino youths, boasts a long-standing friendship dating back to their high school days, fostering seamless communication and collaboration.
Their journey reached a pinnacle when they secured a spot in the Top 25, a feat achieved through rapid proposal contextualization. Witnessing the tangible impact of their efforts within their communities fueled a newfound passion for creative climate problem-solving. With optimism for the future, they aim to inspire more youth to engage in similar endeavors, driven by the invaluable learning experiences gained along the way.
Embracing their team motto, “A journey of a thousand miles starts with a single step,” they eagerly anticipate the competition’s remainder. Reflecting on their journey thus far, they acknowledge that taking that initial step has led them to where they are today, filled with anticipation for the adventures yet to come.

Team C_H2O from Malaysia

At the outset of the challenge, the Malaysian youth team opted to continue their collaboration from another competition for UWRC 2024. Having known each other since they were only 16 years old, their long-standing bond serves as a communication advantage within the team.
What sets them apart is their unwavering focus on the process and hard work rather than solely fixating on the prize. They marvel at their journey thus far, having submitted their proposal just 30 minutes before the deadline. While they share the excitement of potentially attending the World Water Forum 10 event in Bali, their primary goal remains ensuring their work leaves a meaningful impact on the community.

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