U-Report, UNICEF’s global platform for the promotion of youth participation in public life, traveled to the Municipality of Eastern Samos and was presented to local students.
Athens, May 10, 2022: UNICEF Greece Country Office and the Network for Children’s Rights, in collaboration with the Municipality of Eastern Samos, organized an event at the City Hall of Vathi on Monday the 9th of May, aiming to present the platform to local junior and senior high school students, who had the opportunity to answer the first poll before its completion! This is the 5th event held in Greece to promote the U-Report platform to teenagers and young people!
Seventy students participated in the event, registered and attended a short training on the means of participation in public life, electronic governance and the importance of involving young people in decision-making processes that concern them! In addition, the students expressed their own ideas about the benefits of participating in democratic processes, such as developing various skills, broadening spiritual horizons, and building strong friendships. Students later learned about their right to free expression, as enshrined in Article 12 of the International Covenant on the Rights of the Child.
As new U-Reporters, students responded to the first poll on “What would you like from local authorities to make your cities friendlier to children and young people?” The results of the poll will be taken into account for the development of action plans in the framework of the Program “Child Friendly Cities”, in which the Municipality of Eastern Samos has joined as a candidate city. At the end of the event, it was found that the 580 responses received from teenagers and young people from different parts of Greece coincide, with the priorities and concerns of young people being common. Better protection of the environment, quality health and education services and creation of sports and leisure facilities are among the priorities of young people for the development of child friendly cities!
The Mayor of Eastern Samos, George Stantzos attended the event and spoke to the students about the importance of participation in public life, noting that “… your voices are genuine and strong and contribute to building the future we all want and dream of. In a place that has been tried though various hardships, but has a quality about it, we turn the page together with this event and we bring the change we wish to see together!”
Aspasia Plakantonaki, the Deputy Representative of UNICEF Greece Country Office was also present and addressed the students saying “… change can come from you, through expressing your opinion using the opportunities given to you to participate in public life. Only then, we think, our programs will have greater impact, that is why we see this event in such light, so that we can actively listen to you! ”
Upon completion of the first poll, the results will be sent to the participating Municipalities, with the aim of integrating them into policy-making for better living conditions for children and young people in their cities. Children and young people in Greece can become members of U-Report by sending the word “Join” via Viber, Facebook Messenger or WhatsApp.