When it comes to understanding the needs and aspirations of youth, U-Report is a key tool for making their voices heard. To elevate their opinions and advocate for real change, the U-Report platform was activated in the Central African Republic in September 2022. Since it became available, young people have started to raise their voices and take action to advocate for the rights of all, including the most vulnerable.
To reach more young people, U-Report local Committees were opened in 7 cities in the provinces of Bouar, Berberati, Bossangoa, Nola, Bambari, and Bozoum. The Committees, formed by U-Reporters, organized awareness-raising activities on key themes, including protection against violence, climate action, mental health, and educational talks to vulnerable children and youth.
In Bozoum, U-Reporters also developed back-to-school activities. Through field visits, they identified 50 school-age children who were not attending school because their families could not afford school materials. After a call for donations, U-Reporters achieved their goal and distributed the needed school supplies among the families. In addition, young people formed a local U-Report Committee with children in street situations in Bangui. Motivated by protecting their rights, the Committee invited more young people in street situations to attend educational talks.
To showcase the impact of youth actions and amplify the platform's presence, U-Report was officially launched in November 2022 in a public event presided by high-level authorities, including the President of the Central African Republic, the President of the National Assembly, and the Prime Minister. 300 U-Reporters attended the meeting and took it as an opportunity to present the importance of U-Report in the lives of adolescents and youth and the key role they play in political decision-making.
At the meeting, U-Reporters talked about their activities, including the educational talks, but also made a call for the government to include in its priorities the needs and aspirations of vulnerable children and young people, including those with disabilities, in street situations, and children and youth in prison.
As a consequence of the meeting, the President of the Republic issued a decree to pardon 19 children in prison. Since then, U-Reporters Committees have also been supported by local and administrative authorities. In early 2023, U-Reporters from the Central African Republic shared their experience and the continuous results of their efforts.