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Last year UNICEF funded a mobile poll that showed that 81 per cent of youths wanted to leave the country for better opportunities. Jamaican youths also said that they felt they did not have a voice.
Participation in decision making is a right that young people have; they must be heard on the issues that affect them. So, rather than responding to this situation with more top-down solutions for Jamaican youth, why not engage them and address the challenges together!
Jamaica first in the Caribbean
UNICEF has developed a social messaging platform called U-Report. This platform has revolutionized the way adolescents and young people are engaged in national discussions in a number of countries across the globe. We’re happy to announce that U-Report will make its Caribbean debut here in Jamaica and we are now recruiting a project coordinator.
How does it work? U-Report will allow young Jamaican people aged 13 to 29 years old to opt-in to respond to weekly polls (message pushes) about issues that impact their lives. These U-Reporters can communicate back-and-forth with U-Report using their favourite apps from Facebook Messenger to Twitter to Telegram to free SMS.
Social media for social change
Their responses to the polls will then provide UNICEF and our NGO and government partners unique access to real-time, large-scale data that would otherwise be difficult or costly to obtain. In other countries U-Report has been used in emergency situations and even to inform and influence parliamentarians when passing laws that impact young people.
How will it help? In Jamaica the aim is to use U-Report to help power a cultural shift – using mobile technology to facilitate the right of young people tohave an active role in the discussions and debates that impact them.
Working directly with youth
Who are we looking for? It is crucial that the U-Report Coordinator is passionate about the power of social media and understands its ability to give young people a voice. He or she will coordinate with partners, a youth advisory panel and of course the U-Reporters themselves.
If that describes you, or maybe someone you know, apply online at unicef.org.