“I’ve swapped my complaining for something more positive”:
U-reporters talk about their motivation for getting involved.
Мухаммеджон, 18 лет, умело проводит пальцами по экрану своего телефона, быстро переключаясь между приложениями и веб-страницами.
“For our generation, mobile phones are a must. Personally, I spend about 5 hours a day on my phone. I can connect with my friends and my parents and look up information on the internet to do my homework. To be honest, I’d use my phone even more if I had the time!”
Now that U-report has arrived in Uzbekistan, young people like Muhammedjon can connect, not just to friends and family, but to those in charge of the country.
U-report is an innovative youth engagement tool that is used by young people in many countries around the world to speak out on social issues and improve the communities they live in. It works by conducting polls, the results of which go straight to Government and other relevant organizations to inform policies and programmes for youth.
“It’s really simple. You sign up by phone or internet. It’s 100% anonymous and confidential. You can use a nick-name if you want and you don’t have to put in any contact details. Then, every Wednesday you get 2 messages. One tells you about the results of a previous survey, so you can see all the statistics and understand how people responded. A couple of hours later, you get a new survey to answer. There are 7 questions, so it only takes 5 minutes.”
“One evening my friend and I were chatting, and I was complaining about various things, like education, and experiences I had with the health system back home in Navoi. He said to me, “Are you going to complain forever or are you going to do something about it?” He told me about U-report. Now I’ve swapped my complaining for something more positive.”
С глобальным проектом, который стартовал в Узбекистане в октябре 2018 года, Мухаммеджона познакомил его друг.
“In the past I didn’t feel like my voice mattered. At home, sometimes the important decisions in my life were made for me. No one asked me what I thought! Although U-report itself can’t make changes, it can highlight young people’s opinions so that the changes that are happening in this country will reflect young people’s voices more.”
“We’re the next generation and Uzbekistan’s future depends on us. Together, through U-report, we can do more.”
Сабину волнуют вопросы транспорта и дорожного движения, и она довольна тем, что, как только соответствующие ответственные организации получат доступ к отзывам молодых людей, у них будет больше предпосылок для решения проблем в этой сфере.
«Речь идет не о критике правительства, а о его поддержке. Мы - единое общество»,
U-report currently operates in 50 countries around the world. It’s contributed to some remarkable changes; in El Salvador, U-reporters helped highlight the extent of child marriage and the Government responded with laws against the practice. Feedback from British U-reporters has helped shape recommendations to the Government on issues like online-bullying. In Ukraine, adolescents’ views ended the practice of their medical data being shared without their consent. In a myriad of different ways, U-report is helping give voice to young people, monitoring youth needs and services, building a dialogue with decision makers by providing evidence, and giving governments feedback on their decisions.
Another important feature of U-report is sharing information. Around the world, it’s been used to share health advice during outbreaks of disease, and to give life-saving information during emergencies. With the help of U-Report, young people can get access to socially important and useful information, even if they live in the most remote regions of the country.
“This is a global project that’s trusted, tried and tested,” says Sabina. “I think U-report has the power to bring positive change to Uzbekistan too. If I didn’t believe it, I wouldn’t have joined! Our job now is to spread the word about U-report in the community, to get people excited about what U-report can do. Currently, about 60% of U-reporters are boys and young men,” she adds. “It would be great if more girls and women registered to be U-reporters so we could hear about their experiences.”
Her fellow U-reporter, Rustam, 18, says,
“I’m from Kashkadarya. In the regions, young people might not know where to go or who to tell about the specific issues that affect them. U-report changes that because now almost everyone has a phone or computer, so almost everyone has access to this amazing tool. Already, since U-report was launched last month, nearly 4800 young people have signed up, but at the moment, some regions are more active than others. We’re planning to go out into the regions to tell people about U-report. With their help we can make great things happen.”
The three huddle over their mobile phones, laughing and chatting while waiting for the results of the latest survey to come in.
“I’m proud of myself for participating in this important project,” says Sabina, “And it’s so great to feel that my voice counts.”
Young people who would like to participate in U-Report polls need a computer/mobile phone/tablet, a connection to a mobile operator in Uzbekistan, or access to the Internet.
«Я горжусь своим участием в этом важном проекте, - говорит Сабина, - и мне так приятно чувствовать, что мой голос важен».
Молодым людям, которые хотели бы участвовать в опросах U-Report, нужен компьютер, или мобильный телефон, или планшет, а также подключение к мобильному оператору в Узбекистане или доступ к Интернету.
- via free SMS: send the word START to number 1122, answer a few questions about age, place of residence, etc. (it will take no more than 5 minutes and it’s free, regardless of the chosen mobile operator);
- via Telegram: find @UReportUzbBot bot, send the word START, then answer a few short questions;
- via Facebook: in the Facebook search engine, find the UReportUzbekistan page, send START through personal messages and then answer a few questions to sign up.
After the user signs up for U-Report, he/she will receive regular polls.