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U-REPORT Ambassador: Victoria’s Vision
‘As U-REPORT ambassadors, I loved that all of us young people were able to work together on this journey. We showed people and other youths that we could work together. We didn’t let our downfalls pull us down but chose to build up from them.

Referring to the social narrative on the irrelevance of youths, U-REPORT ambassador Victoria Lulumani shares this as the peak of the journey.

‘I joined U-REPORT because I love to work with other young people. Through the platform I can meet youths that have other issues. I can help lighten their burdens because a lot of times they won’t open up and talk about it. They’ll keep quiet, thinking “What I have to say is not important.” They’ll endure it alone.”

With community outreaches for registration drives ensuing wide data collection of people in the different areas, there is a heavy focus on the quantitative aspects of U-REPORT.

Synonymous with projects, this is critical in scoping the range of the reach and inevitably, the broad use of U-REPORT as a mouthpiece for all Solomon Islanders. Numerical value often trumps the importance of qualitative data, where most of the change and impact happen. The personal empowerment of the agents of change, the U-REPORT ambassadors in this case, is an incredible indicator of the project’s sustainability. Their ability to connect to peers naturally, plus their youthful ownership of the initiative and its core purpose inspires wide-spread agency in other young people in communities. This reinforces the group morale and motivates fellow ambassadors to step outside their comfort zones, towards personal growth.

“Before joining U-REPORT, I was the kind of person that would enjoy sharing memes and online content that were funny to me but ones I knew might hurt other people. Or I’d make unnecessary comments to people on Facebook but later when I became a U-REPORT ambassador, I learned a lot about cyberbullying. In that little time, I became more responsible and stopped posting unnecessary things online and tried my best to make people feel like they were a part of the wider community too by being a person they could talk to when they need some help with the issues they endure or tell them about places that have specialized help.”

Challenges faced during periods of public engagement fostered values that required an immense amount of self-belief and group trust. It cultured courage and confidence.

“The challenges I faced really helped to build me up. Before I used to struggle with public speaking, but I realized when we went out to communities – if I don’t do it, who will? If all of us were afraid to speak then what would happen? So, I had to step up and build the courage to speak. When I did this other young people saw and realized they needed to build themselves up to speak too.”

U-REPORT as a platform is becoming a two-streamed place of growth for these young people spreading its instrumental use as well as those actively receiving its awareness and ensuring they mobilize their views on it.

“I hope in the future, that this platform will continue and all the other young people we have helped register, keep the trend going and tell other young people about it too. They are U-REPORT ambassadors as well now that they have registered. I also hope all the issues that have been collected and identified on the platform are systematically addressed as well. The other thing I hope for is the successful implementation of the cyberbullying program into school curriculums. We are hoping that by 2022, schools will have it in their current curriculums and we can have a few sessions with students.”

The strong theme of cyber illiteracy and its relation to empathy is a recurring one in the journey of most of these youth ambassadors. These are connections that surface throughout the learning process of U-REPORT and continuously impact the individuals involved from its initiation to implementation. This may be a cornerstone of its continuation – the effectiveness of U-REPORT’s messaging and purpose will be well received because its ambassadors have personally seen its positive impact in their lives.
See by the numbers how we are engaging youth voices for positive social change.