The MY World´s communication campaign – “Mark a Difference”- was launched in Maldives by the Minister of Education, Dr. Asim Ahmed on the 16th of June. The special launch event attended by government officials, heads of independent institutions, students, media and MY World ambassadors was held at the UN building. The UN Resident Coordinators for Maldives, Mr. Tony E. Lisle and Minister of Education Dr. Asim Ahmed spoke during the ceremony.
Dr. Asim Ahmed noted that Maldives’ MY World participation is extremely valuable, because although small island nation in the Indian Ocean with a population of approximately 321,000 people, it is an opportunity for Maldivians to have their voices counted and share their top priorities for a better, and just world. He highlighted the importance of process. The MY World Global Survey provides citizens with the opportunity to prioritise national development goals and highlight their aspirations for the future. Mr. Lisle highlighted the importance of the Survey to inform global policy makers about Maldives’ most significant priorities beyond 2015.
The MY World campaign is led by the UN Resident Coordinator’s Office, with help from civil society, governments and private sector partners. A group of youth volunteers has been mobilized to undertake the survey through out the capital city, Male’. The volunteers are visiting Male’ schools, where kiosks have been set up so that students are able to complete the survey. The Ministry of Education is supporting the MY World Campaign in schools. The volunteers will also set up voting booths in various parts of the capital to encourage and allow the public to vote. The Government and independent institutions such as the Civil Service Commission and the Local Government Authority are taking the survey to their respective staff, to the islands the comprise Maldives and atoll councils.
The campaign was launched with a plethora of promotional material produced with the support of local personalities in different spheres of life. Maldives top football player, Ali Ashfag and rising singer/song writer Mishy Athif are the two main ambassadors and have been featured in the posters and other promotion materials. A number of Maldivian personalities from the fields of sports, show business, civil society, politics, business and youth leaders have been featured in the localized MY World videos. A far reaching media campaign was also started with UN Maldives staff appearing on television programmes to give information about the survey. The MY World campaign is supported by four of the biggest companies in the Maldives, State Trading Organisation (STO), Dhiraagu, Wataniya and Think. The companies are part of the local Global Compact network.
A facebook page https://www.facebook.com/MyWorldMaldives has also been launched to promote the campaign through social media to capture the Maldives wide internet coverage and outreach. The promotional material including videos are featured on the facebook page. The ballot paper which will be used for offline voting has been translated into the local language Dhivehi.
The campaign will be carried through to the end of June with the target of reaching 10,000 votes. Before the launch on Sunday, only about 197 Maldives had voted. As of today, 1,114 votes have been casted by Maldivians.
Maldivians’ top priorities for a better world are: a good education, better healthcare and protection against crime and violence. Female youth fifteen years old and younger voted on equality between men and women as their top priority. Males aged sixteen to thirty years old voted on better job opportunities as their second priority. Better job opportunities is significantly more important in this age group than others, as depicted by the data. Among men and women aged 31 to 45, better healthcare ranks first and among men and women aged 46 and over, an honest and responsive government ranks first. The younger generations show an increasing desire for phone and internet access, whereas, the older generations show a need for health-related benefits, including affordable and nutritious food, which men and women aged 31 to 45 rank as their second priority.