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U-REPORT Ambassador: Junior’s Wisdom

 “I joined U-REPORT because I wanted my voice to be heard, I wanted my voice to count. I wanted improvement in my village and my community. I wanted change to happen.”

Intuitive and sharp, Junior JJ Ohasio imparts his vision as a U-REPORT ambassador. He is a member of Side by Side: Movement for Gender Equality, an actor of Dreamcast Theater and a painter, set designer of Dreamcast’s theatre production as well, giving him a unique niche as a young Solomon Islander constantly surrounded by youth collectives driving social change on varying levels.

With his ability to condense and simplify his thoughts, he shared the bigger picture of U-REPORT’s target as an initiative. “From my perspective, U-REPORT is a platform they’ve given us young people of Solomon Islands to share what is affecting us, our communities, our villages, schools, our living, how will we improve”.

Akin to experiences and their ability to deeply impact a person, the varying stages of the free social messaging platform is no exception.

“One change I have seen in myself, mentally – my mind has grown wider than before. This is probably because of many contributions from other people when they see things from a different angle and share from a lot of different views. That’s been one change I have seen in myself.”

Profound self-reflection has grown because of the multi-faceted experiences that this youth has encountered. Already a person with a strategic view, it has honed that skill for him, interpersonally.

“It has changed how to approach people. How do we talk to someone like this? Whether they are a boy or girl, educated or uneducated – the types of approach we can apply are different because for example: sometimes we assume someone is educated but maybe they dropped out of early high school so when we explain things using a term they don’t understand, they will get confused with what you’re trying to explain to them. Type of approach opened windows of perspective in my mind and how we should think about things.”

Paramount to the experiences within the U-REPORT journey, the amount of new knowledge must be credited. It has given intelligent minds like Junior the ability to learn from an overseas facilitator who is specialized in a field where other country people have not had a chance to freely access, and simultaneously be able to share that information with others for their benefit as well.

“What I love is this whole journey has been educational. If you were a person who could not set your goals, in the small time that you joined the group you would be able to set your own goals. You’d know how to monitor your own goals. You can make estimations before you achieve your goal. That’s a part that has molded ambassadors of U-REPORT.

Despite the slowly improving telecommunications and internet services, large components of e-learning continue to remain at risk of technical complications. It delves into the issue of how much remains to be done by telecommunication companies for better communication overseas and more essentially, nationwide.

“There were a lot of challenges. Mostly, U-REPORT hosted its meetings online and sometimes we would be having one and the network would fail. We would miss parts of our discussion.”

Taking an in-depth analysis of how the group commenced and progressed, Junior sees a much bigger picture of how traditional structures have mentally carved a conflict between normative approaches and communication on progressive ideas.

“Another challenge is how culture has pulled people’s mindsets into being able to share and not share in discussions. Cultural norms have affected how someone expresses their idea and how another is so quick to oppose but that’s how we can come up with a good idea. We must debate and from that debate a great idea would be the outcome. But controlling your mindset is critical, don’t be so quick to react. Stop, think first. Is this true or not true? If it’s good, take it in, if it isn’t then take it out.”

Displaying the wisdom of a young man eager to learn, contextualize and think critically about new information, his determination and belief in the platform’s purpose and sustainability long-term could not be more evident.

“I hope all goals of U-REPORT are achieved. To raise effective awareness on what is cyberbullying, putting in place cybersecurity response and reporting mechanisms in communities, schools, and organizations.”

“My hope for the communities we have visited is that whatever they want, they are able to achieve. That their cries for help are heard and our leaders hear them and try to do something top help. If people are happy, we are happy too if they aren’t happy, we aren’t happy too.”

Being a Solomon Islander is a collective experience and these youth ambassadors continuously preach the U-REPORT’s monumental power when people decide to use their agency for collective good.

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