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Youth Unite for U-Report Bim

November 28th, 2020- The atmosphere of the Accra Beach Hotel permeated with good vibes and youthful enthusiasm through a one of a kind event to introduce youth of Barbados to U-Report. 120 young people consisting of youth leaders, activists, influencers, media personalities, artistes and entrepreneurs  all committed to youth development and societal progression, came together to learn how this tool can be a game-changer for the inclusion of youth voices in decision making. 

The platform implemented globally by UNICEF, amplifies the voices of the often marginalized youth demographic, so that we may have the opportunity to speak out on issues of importance to us and to advocate for matters that are beneficial to our country’s development. In our society, it is common for perspectives, ideas and opinions of young people to be disregarded and ignored, but U-Report changes this by providing a platform to support and amplify youth voices through data collection. 

Thus, the ‘U-Report Bim’ event was designed to bring to life the very essence of U-Report. The vision board that greeted the U-Ambassadors when entering the U-Report Bim Platform Party allowed for issues that young people deemed pertinent to be expressed. Educational reformation, youth unemployment, youth violence and a multiplicity of other deleterious afflictions that adversely interfere with youth development were among those written on the board. Presentations on U-Report were made by the U-Report Steering Committee and a fun social media photo challenge got U-Ambassadors out of their seats.  Local performer “Rick Rick” ended the night by premiering the U-Report Barbados jingle, ensuring that those in attendance sang along to its catchy lyrics. 

In the spirit of leaving no one behind, a virtual component was done through Instagram Live and hosted by Education Advocate and Influencer Gabrielle Davida Gay. Interviews with U-Ambassadors across Barbados and the globe, along with snippets of the night’s activities were captured and can still be viewed on our channel @ureportbarbados. 

The night was one to behold, as we built a movement for youth involvement in civic engagement. Motivational Speaker and youth advocate Joel Manning expressed it brilliantly, “Change is action, change is a process, change is a relay”. Barbadian young people have been continuously vying and fighting valiantly for change to occur and U-Report provides the platform for all voices to be heard. The words of the featured speaker, The Minister of Labour, the Hon. Colin Jordan, were uplifting, as it illustrated the current government’s promise to foster youth development. He informed the U-Ambassadors, and in extension all Barbadian youth, to not give up and to fight tirelessly to achieve greatness, which will build a foundation that others who come after will utilize to continue the fight.

Needless to say, the event was saturated with vivacity, and this was because young people were enthused at what U-Report has to offer. U-Report seeks to collaborate with government, non-governmental organizations, businesses, corporations and especially young people to ensure that the future of all Barbadian young people continues to be effulgent. With its execution, any affliction that seeks to erode the potential of any young person will be highlighted and addressed. As Minister in the Prime Minister’s Office, the Hon. John King asserted in his closing note, “Do not allow anyone to convince you that you are unable to do it, because collectively, the word failure becomes obsolete."

See by the numbers how we are engaging youth voices for positive social change.