Young people need platforms where they can speak out on issues affecting them such as youth unemployment, teenage pregnancies, sex for grades, menstrual hygiene management, among others.
During the Student Representative Council (SRC) Week celebration at the Ghana Institute of Journalism, over 1,000 students U-Reporters were recruited to partake in polls and voice out their concerns as well.
Empowering young people to speak out energizes them to partake in solution driven initiatives in their communities and demand accountability from leaders as well. Through responses provided by these young reporters, policies are changed, initiatives are taken, and the gaps between young people and policy makers are bridged.
Pamela Borti, 23, a student of GIJ signed up to be a U-Reporter. She remarked, “we young people have lots of issues especially, the rise of unemployment rate in Ghana, and we’re glad the results will be shared with government to take action”. Students were happy that U-Reporters could create communities and help solve a societal issue.
Young people now understand that not only does the future belong to them, but the present as well. Their participation in decision making and policy implementation is relevant and creates a sense of belongingness.
“Through U-Report, I’ve gained knowledge on the number of SDGs and the 169 targets that needs to be met. Initially, I thought it was the responsibility of the government. But I know that it’s my responsibility too” _ says Jessie Ola Morris, another student.