UNICEF to curb youth challenges with U-Report

Lilongwe: United Nations Childrens Fund (UNICEF) says its new project called U-Report will help curb the challenges the youth face in the country.

Speaking during a media workshop on Friday in Lilongwe U-Report Manager, Charlie Hartono Lie said the U-Report project is giving chance to the youth to voice out their concerns through mobile phones.

With the U-Report the youth are now able to report or ask questions about their problems such as; issues of abuses, lack of job opportunities and other related concerns and we process the concerns and they get assisted at the end and the information is kept confidential, said Lie.

He added that the U-Report is also acting as a platform of disseminating information of crisis and health such as information on prevention of cholera and information on HIV and Aids to people in the country.

Lie said the project also intends to curb issues of child marriages in the country as it also involves the collection of data in the areas where there is high rate of child marriages noting that the data collected will be processed and the results used to determine solutions to curb the issue.

According to the Manager, the U-Report is the life monitoring tool which he said can be used for everyone including government organizations, nongovernmental organizations, elders and the youth to raise their feedback on the issue concerning their everyday life and activities.

However, he said the U-Report is not a political tool, noting that it does not disseminate and process information concerning political activities or promote political figures.

Currently, the U-Report is running in 40 countries that include Zimbabwe and Zambia.

In Malawi it was launched in March this year in Lilongwe where one of the country’s hip hop artists known as Fredo Kiss was chosen as an ambassador of the project.

In her remarks UNICEF Communications Officer, Rebecca Pwitiko said the U-Report is the life changer urging the general public to join it and change their life status.

The U-Report is accessed by sending an SMS message written join to 1177 on TNM line or Airtel line and a person is supposed to follow the steps displayed on the menu.

Currently 83,000 people have joined the U-Report initiative.

Source: Malawi News Agency MANA