The Federation of Liberian Youth (FLY) with sponsorship from UNICEF Liberia Tuesday launched the U-Report program in Monrovia. The launch, which was held at the YMCA Gymnasium on Broad Street, brought together students from various institutions in and around Monrovia.
U-Report is a social monitoring tool designed for young people and community residents to strengthen community development and citizens’ engagements.
The exercise allows citizens to speak out via SMS and other channels through polls and unsolicited messages, and results and ideas are shared with the community. Issues polled included health, education, water, sanitation and hygiene, youth unemployment, HIV/AIDS, and disease outbreaks, among others.
Serving as keynote speaker, the Manager of Enforcement at the Liberia Revenue Authority, T. Maxwell Grigsby, said U-Report will impact the lives of many young people in the country as it allows them to solve their problems void of violence.
Mr. Grigsby also encouraged young people to make use of the U-Report program, stressing that the future will be positive when young people see corruption and report it, adding that this is the only way to move the country forward.
Liberia’s Vice President, Joseph N. Boakai, who graced the launch, commended organizers of the program and challenged young people to take the U-Report seriously because they can use it and it can used them.
Vice President Boakai said when such program comes up, young people should always take advantage of it because it may not come back, stressing that it is their job to make sure that all young people rise up and make life.
Speaking at the program, the Deputy Representative of UNICEF, Dr. Fazlul Haque, said UNICEF will give all support it can to the U-Report and encouraged young people to make used of the opportunity.
The President of the Federation of Liberia Youth, Augustine Tamba, expressed delight that the U-Report was a success and that young people could now find a solution to their problem, and encouraged more young people to be a part of the program as it is free of charge.
By Bridgett Milton