Social Media

Something positive about youths, social media and mental health

u-report jamaica mental health
An early morning tweet today was a politician responding to a letter in the paper. Nothing new in that. But then this letter was about the latest U-Report poll on mental health, to which more than 900 youths (U-Reporters) messaged in reply to say that the issue is not being taken seriously enough.

With more than 3,000 U-Reporters registered, and more joining daily, U-Report polls should soon start to consistently see 1,000 respondents i.e. the standard national sample size in Jamaica.

However, success won’t just be a matter of sending them fortnightly polls and showing them the results. We at UNICEF Jamaica will need to keep U-Reporters engaged by ensuring that the results are used to ensure that the government, private sector or NGOs – i.e. whoever is responsible – actually takes action.

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Social Good, Social Media

Jamaica becomes first Caribbean country to launch U-Report

There’s a way to change the dialogue about our youth: from what we as adults say is good for them, to what they themselves say – that’s the goal of U-Report. Two years of investigation, finding the budget, planning and development became real when UNICEF Jamaica became the first country in the Caribbean to launch.
 
U-Report allows young persons (aged 13-29) to sign up to receive weekly polls on issues that matter to them. It’s youth-driven: Christopher Harper the project coordinator is himself from that demographic. Meanwhile he has a team of youth advisors from high school age and up.
 
They’ll use Facebook, Twitter; and FLOW (thanks again!) are allowing customers FREE access via SMS. These and more channels TBA will allow the target audience to easily opt-in as U-Reporters to receive and respond to polls.

Jamaica will join other countries worldwide, which have so far recruited more than 5 million U-Reporters. 1,000 U-Reporters have signed up and 44 per cent responded to the first poll. Continue reading

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Social Good, Social Media

U-Report: a new message from Jamaican youth

Christopher Harper UNICEF Jamaica U-Report

‘We can’t reach millennials. Youth today don’t care. They’re always on social media. Etc’ The same complaints us old people (30+) always make. So how does it feel to be a young person today? Like if we ourselves actually cared enough to find a way to involve them…

“It’s difficult” says Christopher Harper, my newest colleague at UNICEF Jamaica who is the project coordinator for U-Report. Launching this year, U-Report is a social messaging tool that polls young people on their favorite messaging and social media apps, plus free SMS.

UNICEF and local partners will then use the data – what young people say, rather than what we think is good for young people – to influence their programs, lobby for change and in the media. Targeting people aged 13-29 years old, the entire project will be youth-led.

For more info, read what Chris has to say on the UNICEF Jamaica blog.

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Social Good

Children who draw their pain

Children who feel they have to kill; children mourning family; and children who just want to escape… Spent some time recently with volunteer Peace Management Initiative (PMI) social workers who do art therapy for children suffering from violence and abuse. Equal parts depressing and inspiring seeing them give up their time helping children come to terms with what they’re living through.

Posted on the UNICEF Jamaica blog: Children who draw their pain

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