U-report Ghana’s presence at this year's Republic Hall week celebration at the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST) in Kumasi left an indelible mark in the minds of students at the school. From April 1st- 6th 2019, U-Report champions joined students of KNUST to celebrate the Republic hall week.
‘Repu’Hall week as it is popularly called by students is one of the most attended hall week celebrations on KNUST campus. The Hall was named Republic to commemorate Ghana's attainment of Republic Status in 1960, and was officially opened in 1961 with women been first to be admitted into the hall. The hall is now home to about 850 students with facilities that includes a basketball court, gift shop, saloon and games room.
U-report Champions, staff and volunteers took advantage of the 2019 edition of Republic Hall week celebration to promote U-Report and recruit students to the U-Report platform with some fun and excitement. Many of the students engaged were eager to know more about U-Report since they believed that their voices should indeed be considered in decision making at all stages in the development process. The students agreed that U-Report could make their voices heard and channeled to the right people for solutions to the many problems young people are bedeviled with.
Some channels used by the U-report Champions to recruit U-reporters were the lecture hall talks, one-on-one sign up and also some radio discussions at the campus based radio station – Focus FM at KNUST.
U-Report which is a free SMS innovation by UNICEF to engage young people for community participation, seeks to help address issues that affect various communities with specific emphasis on young people sharing their views on issues that matter to them. Through a short code - 1755 young people have their views collated when they send "Join" and respond to the polls that is ran about three times a month.
After a week-long interesting engagement with some students in the hostel, lecturer halls and one-on-one, U Report champions were able to add some 1,500 more U Reporters to the platform.
Having understood the power and impact of the tool in community engagement, the leadership of the campus radio and two other halls requested for an opportunity for partnership to engage more students in the university.