|Thousands of high school students use Twitter. ©UNICEF Indonesia/2015/Vania Santoso|
“Who has Twitter here? Come on, let me see your hands up!” asked the master of ceremonies at a U-Report event during the 16th Bedah Kampus Universitas Indonesia (BKUI16). Almost all of the participants raised their hands. It was no surprise, as Indonesia has one of the highest rates of social media usage in the world.
The BKUI16 was a two-day open house for high school students to get to know more about Universitas Indonesia (UI). More than 16,000 people participated. Experiences for the students included a Faculties Road Show, UI’s famous public transportation - the BiKun (Bis Kuning, meaning Yellow Bus), and a Plenary Session with figures like news anchor Najwa Shihab, economist and politician Faisal Basri, and singer Vadi Akbar.
During this particular session, participants learned about U-Report Indonesia. U-Report is a social messaging tool developed by UNICEF that allows young people to report on child rights issues. The information is then used to engage with government and other counterparts to bring about positive, practical change.
Initially launched by UNICEF Uganda, U-Report is currently being implemented in 17 countries around the world. Indonesia has been the first country to establish U-Report on Twitter with the handle @UReport_ID. There are already more than 40,000 U-Reporters in Indonesia. These U-Reporters are regularly asked about topics ranging from bullying to climate change to child marriage. Information has been analysed and used, for example for the 5th National Meeting on AIDS and the government’s updated National Strategy on Violence Against Children for 2015-2019.
The MC encouraged all participants to take out their mobile phone, open Twitter and directly follow the U-Report Indonesia account. Registered U-Reporters then received postcards, stickers and wristbands from both U-Report and UNICEF Indonesia.
|Participants registering as U-Reporters. ©UNICEF Indonesia/2015/Vania Santoso|
There was also a BKUI16 bazaar, where UNICEF Indonesia promoted U-Report. UNICEF also held a special challenge for students to win more U-Report merchandise by promoting the platform.
It was exciting to see how U-Reporters creatively sent Tweets about U-Report, from mentioning their friend’s Twitter accounts, posting pictures of U-Report posters and postcards, and taking selfies.
This kind of reception to the U-Report platform was a very positive sign. Now it’s your turn to be a U-Reporter by following @UReport_ID or visiting http://indonesia.ureport.in
“Are you Indonesian youth? Voice your opinion through @UReport_ID from UNICEF :)” quoted from Rahmatul Hayati’s Twitter account during BKUI16.