he Student Self-Development Program (P3DM) stands out as a pivotal soft skills development program for students at Universitas Kristen Duta Wacana (UKDW) in Yogyakarta. This program is designed to empower students in managing and nurturing their potential across various dimensions such as spirituality, personality, emotions, empathic communication, intellect, and environmental interaction. The official launch of this program took place on Saturday, February 17, 2024, at Koinonia Auditorium, UKDW.

The inaugural event and orientation of P3DM 2024 was attended by the Rector, Vice Rector for Student Affairs, Alumni, Information, and Innovation; Vice Deans for Student Affairs, Alumni, and Promotion; facilitators, student mentors, collaboration partners for social initiatives, and over 600 students from various departments.

This event served as a critical juncture, fostering a deepened understanding of inclusion among students and preparing them to tackle various challenges, encompassing both disasters and social stigma, before actively engaging in social initiatives. The robust attendance of over 600 students underscored their eagerness to delve into crucial topics like disabilities, HIV & AIDS, and disaster preparedness. The presence of the Rector, Vice-Rector and Vice-Deans for Students Affairs further underscored the university’s commitment to supporting socially-oriented events and community inclusion.

The opening and orientation of P3DM 2024 aimed to provide valuable insights to participants, equipping them for social initiatives in diverse locations. The locations include the Kebaya Community, Red Ribbon Community, Ngebong Islamic Boarding School, SLB HKI Sedayu (special education school), “Pinilih” Support Forum for People with Disability in Sedayu, Yakkum Rehabilitation Center, Sayap Ibu Orphanage, Hana Elderly Home, Mitra Sejahtera Disability Empowerment Center, PpYK Convent, churches including GKJ Gondokusuman, and GKI Wongsodirjan, elderly social services centers such as BPSTW Budi Luhur Kasongan, BPSTW Abiyoso Pakem, BRTPD Kapanewon Pundong; as well as disaster risk reduction communities including Gajah Wong PRB Community, Klitren PRB Community, and Prawirotaman PRB Community.

The initial orientation session, led by Maria Tri Suhartini, S.E. from the “Pinilih” Support Forum for People with Disability in Sedayu, delved into an introduction to disabilities and inclusive interaction methods. This session not only provided a profound understanding of the challenges faced by people with disabilities but also presented inclusive solutions for interaction.

The second session, featuring Ghanis Kristia, S.Si., and Panduarti Prissabat, S.E. from CD Bethesda, explored topics related to HIV & AIDS, along with the prevalent stigma and discrimination experienced by PLHIV. The discussion emphasized the significance of acceptance and support for individuals living with HIV & AIDS, highlighting the crucial role of society in overcoming enduring stigma.

The final session, led by David Pattinama, S.Kom., M.Th. from Yakkum Emergency Unit, encouraged participants to explore inclusive disaster preparedness guided by the community. Participants gained insights into the importance of community involvement in disaster prevention and response, along with strategies ensuring that disaster response plans encompass all societal layers.

This event not only served as a knowledge acquisition platform but also as a stage for building awareness and engagement in critical issues often overlooked by the general public. Through open discussions and dialogues, participants were urged to think critically, embrace differences, and act as agents of change in society.

Moreover, the opening and orientation marked a tangible step in fostering collaboration among universities, civil society organizations, and non-governmental organizations to collectively address social challenges. By establishing a robust network and sustainable collaboration, there is hope that efforts towards community inclusion and preparedness can be further strengthened and expanded. The opening and orientation of P3DM 2024 have generated significant momentum in enhancing community awareness of inclusion and preparedness issues in the face of social challenges. [Biro3.vio/Eng.drr]