Citizens United to Promote Peace & Democracy in Liberia

CUPPADL, Liberia

Blog by: Prince Kreplah National Executive Director of CUPPADL (www.cuppadl.ushahidi.com), +231886533015

Tuesday May 13, 2014: MY World’s Global Week of Action took place from from Monday, May 5th till Sunday May 11th, 2014. During this week, the United Nations teamed up with youth groups, the private sector, and NGO partners all over the world to launch MY World to gather 500,000 peoples’ opinions about the world they want after 2015. The MY World survey asks citizens everywhere about the issues that make the most difference to their lives.

In Liberia, the Citizens United to Promote Peace & Democracy (CUPPADL) led the initiative to collect votes in six poverty stricken communities in Monterrado County, Liberia. These communities included West Point, Clara Town, New Kru Town, Slipway, Doe Community etc. During the peak collection of votes from these communities, we mobilized the participation of over 400 citizens. The population voted for the six issues they believe needed to be prioritize in national and global development agendas in order to improve their lives and make Liberia a better place to live in.

We chose chose the communities previously mentioned because they have large populations with extreme poverty and poor access to social services despite the fact that they are so close to an urbanized capital. There are 40,000 inhabitants in the smallest community and 80,000 in the largest community.

The top priorities for the 400 voters were: “Better jobs opportunities”, “A good education”, “Better health care”, “Access to clean water and sanitation”, “Political freedoms”, “Better transport and roads”, “An honest and responsive government”, “Access to family planning” and “Reliable energy at home”. I believe the findings of the survey are not only relevant to global post-2015 development agenda, but are also relevant for Liberia in their national development planning.

The data will be useful to global leaders and will aid national development planning by painting an accurate global picture of the top six issues that impact peoples’ lives the most. The MY World survey is an unique opportunity to influence the global development agenda and CUPPADL is glad that Liberians have been heard through their votes.

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Deaf Children in Ebolowa, Cameroon Expect MY World Will Bring Change

Deaf children in Ebolowa, expect MY World will bring change
Deaf children in Ebolowa, Cameroon expect MY World will bring change

By Ntiokam Divine, Global Youth Digital Advocate Post 2015 and MY World 2015 and Bernice Atabong  from CRTV South Region

“The marginalized grassroots are crying that nothing is being done to ameliorate their living conditions,” Father Jude Thaddeus laments as the MY World survey team visits his school to tell him about the survey project. Father Thaddeus is the director of the Pere Monti Centre in Ebolowa, Cameroon.

The center has a boarding primary school which educates children with disabilities. Recently, the MY World volunteers went to this school of 89 pupils, in an effort to get the children to vote for their priorities and contributing to sustainable development goals.

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UNA Boulder County Collects Votes at Boulder Creek Festival

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This post was written by Pravin Nair, and Zuza Bohley, United Nations Association of Boulder County: http://unaboulder.org . Please be sure to follow them on Twitter, @unaboulder and also @unausa, and to follow the MY World data Results.

The United Nations Association of Boulder County participated in the Boulder Creek Festival 2014 during Memorial Day weekend, May 24-26. 2014. For over a quarter century, the Boulder Creek Festival has been the unofficial kickoff to summer in Boulder. Widely considered Boulder County’s favorite event, the Festival attracts an anticipated half a million people for three days of festivities, featuring a large variety of events, activities, food and entertainment unique to the Boulder community. The concluding day of the festival, Memorial Day at Boulder begins with America’s all time best 10K race “BolderBOULDER”.

The Festival is free to the public and features something for everyone: 9 separate event
areas with 500 vendors showcase everything from community arts and crafts to health
alternatives and technology while 4 performance stages feature a spectrum of music and dance. The Festival also features carnival rides, food and beverage vendors, and the signature event: a rubber duck race down the creek!

The City of Boulder requires all events within city limits to be Zero Waste events. The
goal at a Zero Waste event is to plan ahead and only distribute materials that are
recyclable, compostable or reusable (i.e. no materials that have to be landfilled).
United Nations Association of Boulder County reserved a booth at the Boulder Creek
Festival; our volunteers included members from Model United Nations club at Boulder
High School & University of Colorado and members from the UNICEF Campus
Initiative at University of Colorado.

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Collecting Offline Votes in Makoko, Nigeria

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This is a guest Blog written by: Francis C. Anyaegbu, Africa Region Representative, UN-HABITAT Youth Advisory Board. Follow him on Twitter: @francisanyaegbu
During the 5-11 May MY World Global Week of Action, UNHABITAT, Youth Pioneers For Development, and various Youth Groups teamed up to collect votes in Makoko, a slum in Lagos, Nigeria. We decided to adopt the three suggestions for engagement suggested in the toolkit:
  1. Drive online voting
  2. Joined the MY World Thunderclap
  3. Driving the offline voting
Our motivation for choosing Makoko community was drawn from our recognition of the neigbourhood as a slum with lots of residents from disadvantaged backgrounds whose voices needed to be heard. The population of residents according to Wikipedia is estimated to be over 80,000 and interestingly this demography was not enumerated in Nigeria’s last census exercise in 2007. We are also aware that in most cases, like other major slums in Lagos most of them usually do not have their voices captured in developmental initiatives.
For the school, we felt it was important to also capture the voices of students to enrich the survey.
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We were only able to collect about 103 offline votes out of which about nearly as 40 votes came from the Residents of Makoko slum neigbourhood while the remaining came from Students of Yaba College of Technology, a institution of higher learning about 20 minutes away from the Community and 5 minutes away from the University of Lagos. One of the reasons we were not able to get much votes as anticipated from Makoko was because of general apathy for surveys. Resident of the slum settlement were concerned about any adverse effects that may ensue from the collation of the survey. But we were only able to allay the fears of a few with the kind assistance of the community Youth leader.
For Makoko, we recorded significant votes for “Better job opportunities,” “Better health care,” “A good education “as well as access to clean water and sanitation.

For more information:

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HM Queen Rania meets with the ‘Mark a Difference’ volunteers

5th February, 2014 (Petra, Jordan)

The “Mark A Difference” volunteers in Jordan reiterated their commitment to the Post-2015 cause and to the dissemination of the MY World survey in the presence of Her Majesty Queen Rania Al Abdullah. As a member of UN Secretary General’s High-level Panel (HLP), formed to advise on the global development agenda beyond 2015, Queen Rania met with these very active and enthusiastic youth to discuss the roll out and the outcomes of the “Mark A Difference” campaign in Jordan.

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Since the launch of the campaign by the Office of the UN Resident Coordinator in May 2013, the volunteers have been a valuable asset in spreading the survey across the Kingdom. Aged between 13 and 25 years old, this young crew comes from the different governorates of Jordan and is determined to give a voice to people in their local communities, and the opportunity to tell global leaders what is the future they want.

During the meeting, HM Queen Rania asserted the important role young Jordanians played in promoting the survey across the Kingdom, thus contributing in identifying priorities and challenges that will help shape the post-2015 agenda. The Queen noted that the volunteers’ participation in promoting the survey is a valuable experience, allowing them to get to know, firsthand, the priorities of their country and find ways that can help overcome the challenges of the development agenda.

Volunteers shared with the Queen their experiences from working in the field, noting that the people they encountered showed great interest in participating in the survey and were delighted to voice their opinions and share their thoughts on national development priorities. “It is really fulfilling to see children in schools reading the survey carefully and discussing what they want to vote for” – said Doha, a volunteer from Amman.Image

Preliminary results from the MY World survey show that the first priorities for Jordan are better job opportunities and better education, followed by better healthcare and honest and responsive government. In this regard, Ali –a volunteer from Irbid- stressed that the first two priorities are closely linked: “If students do not get a proper education, an education that gives them the necessary knowledge and skills to work, then no company will be interested in hiring them”.

Her Majesty added that it is crucial to publish the results of the survey so far so that decision makers and stakeholders can benefit from them. The words of HM Queen Rania strongly motivated the volunteers who are ready to expand their network and continue their efforts in disseminating the survey and the results across the country.

Young representatives also attended the meeting from various local organizations, including Irbid Youth Volunteers, Family Kitchen and X Feer. 

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