Sat | Aug 19, 2017

Using social media to promote children's rights

Published:Wednesday | November 25, 2015 | 11:00 AM


 

 On Thursday, November 19, the eve of Universal Children’s Day, Do Good Jamaica partnered with UNICEF Jamaica and The Gleaner to host a Twitter Chat under the theme: “Getting it Right for Jamaican Children’s Rights”.  At the end of the chat, the hashtag #DoGood4Children had made more than 12 million impressions (a metric used to estimate the total number of times Twitter users could have seen the hashtag and the associated comments in the tweets). 

In the guided discussion, hundreds of participants from Jamaica and the Diaspora shared views on the pressing issues facing children locally and what more can be done to ensure that their rights are upheld by both the Government and members of the public. 

“I was overwhelmed at the response,” said Deika Morrison, founder of Do Good Jamaica.  “We talked about what is and isn’t working for children.  Importantly, we received numerous concrete ideas and are now are assessing what can be actioned.”

UNICEF Communication Specialist, Allison Hickling, was also pleased with the discussion. “The Twitter chat was a very useful way of opening up a frank discussion about our collective concerns for children,” she said. “Many people ranked violence and parenting as top challenges that the country needs to find new and better ways to tackle. There was a strong sentiment that community spirit, which the ‘village’ of Jamaicans need to care for and protect our children, has to be re-ignited. One way to do that is to keep conversations like this going.”

Analytic data of the chat showed that @JamaicaGleaner was the top influence.  Ably supported by @diGJamaica, the Gleaner’s resource for facts and statistics, The Gleaner asked questions, provided statistical data and shared participant responses. 

Crediting the partners, Morrison noted, “The involvement of UNICEF, as the world’s leading organisation for the promotion of children’s rights, made it clear that this was a serious discussion.  The Gleaner’s powerful Twitter presence enabled message amplification by encouraging the widest exchange of views driven by facts and data.”

Terri-Karelle Reid, Online Brand Manager for The Gleaner, said “It is my sincerest hope that this conversation continues, and importantly, that various organisations and corporate entities use their platforms to support messages that encourage the fulfilment of children's rights. Hopefully, the ideas exchanged by concerned participants during the chat can be reviewed, applied to our society and actioned.”

The official chat may have ended, but the conversation remains ongoing.   diGJamaica.com has compiled some of the tweets using Storify, which can be viewed on Do Good Jamaica’s page dedicated to children’s rights, doogoodjamaica.org/childrensrights.  Members of the public can still use the hashtag #DoGood4Children to share their thoughts on Twitter.