NEW DELHI, 31 October 2022 – U-Report India, the global flagship digital youth engagement platform initiated by UNICEF, celebrated the enrolment of over 2 million U-Reporters in India. U-Report is UNICEF’s flagship digital platform started in 2011, and relaunched in India in 2019, to engage young people in programme priorities, emergency response and advocacy actions.
U-Reporters are young people who have enrolled voluntarily in the U-Report platform who use WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, Telegram or Instagram DM to provide information on issues that matter to them the most, and to influence change. U-Report in turn engages the youth through Quizes, polls, surveys, resource bots and tasks and shares opinions and ideas, verified information and opportunities, resources and toolkits on life skills, career mobility, climate change and environmental sustainability among many other topics. It is also a key tool to collect quantifiable data on specific areas that impact children, including the most vulnerable.
Speaking at the event celebrating the two million U-Reporters, Cynthia McCaffrey, UNICEF India Representative, said, “The youth of India form the largest generation of young people. U-Report gives the girls and boys, and young women of India a platform to pursue their potential by co-creating solutions, sharing their views, ideas and informing policy and business decisions. U-Report helps young people play raise awareness on issues that matter most to them, and as a result, contribute to improving the well-being of hundreds of millions of families and communities. UNICEF is proud of the partnership with the Government of India, the private sector, the United Nations, YuWaah and youth themselves that has made U-Report India a model of success”
Over 1 million youth joined the network in the past year itself. The digital platform has the highest representation from Haryana, having 340,000 U-Reporters, followed by Uttar Pradesh, having over 119,000 U-Reporters. Thirty-nine per cent of the U-Reporters in India are in the 15-19 age group, followed by the 20-24 age group comprising 31 per cent of the network. Forty-six per cent of this network is comprised of girls.
With the closure of schools and colleges during the pandemic, U-Report India worked collaboratively with YuWaah (Generation Unlimited, UNICEF India) to develop engaging tasks to promote meaningful civic engagement in young people, promoting COVID-appropriate behaviour followed by interactive 21st century-skills learning bot, FunDoo. With the collaboration of YuWaah and other 1,350+ partners, including the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MoHFW), Ministry of Youth Affairs (MoYAS), Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) the #YoungWarrior movement engaged over 800,000 young people on U-Report India.
Speaking on this occasion, 17-year-old Irene Mariam John from Kottayam, Kerala said, “I have been engaging with U-Report since 2021 on various conversations of climate change, COVID Appropriate Behaviour and life skills, but, this was the first time I learned about kindness to others through the #KindnessMatters campaign, the purpose of which is to mobilize the world’s youth to achieve the 17 SDGs through transformative acts of kindness.”.
On this occasion, U-Report also launched a ‘Race to the Next Million Campaign’ to encourage more enrolments on U-Report India through referrals which will reward the young people with maximum referrals to achieve the next 1 million U-Reporters, and the U-Ambassadors programme to recruit young people as representatives of U-Report in their own region to promote enrolment and interactions on ground.
Eleven U-Reporters were felicitated for their exemplary engagement on U-Report India. Dhananjay Kumar, 17- a year-old U-reporter from a remote block in West Champaran Bihar said, “I find the conversations on Climate Change very relevant and I use the resources from U-Report India to share the information with my youth peers.”
More than 50,000 young people from pan India joined the event online.