ACTIVE U-REPORTERS IN THE UNITY OF DIFFERENT COMMUNITIES
The Bakassi Internally Displaced person camp is dotted with tents over a wide expanse. Just like several other camps in Maiduguri, a first barricade to the main gate is maned by the civilian Just task force, a group of local volunteer security network and counter-insurgency who are poised to protect the camp.
After verifying the reason for the camp visit from the team of U-Reporters, the barricade was pulled over and the camp lay like a wide earth-blanket of humans wandering in some parts, dusty field on the other side as the horizon spread almost endlessly.
The team of U-Reporters had to wait for the contact person just in front of two buildings tagged- Psycho-social support service.
Ba'ana Mustapha; Resilient for improved community engagement.
Mustapha is the contact person whom the U-Reporters had to wait for. His gaze has been strong through the raving sun that left a dancing mirage of flame on the ground from over 200 meters sighting them from a distance. He was paddling his bicycle straight to the location the U-Reporters had described. It was a heartwarming meeting as he quickly expressed his excitement on meeting the team.
“There are over 43,000 persons in the camp and they are from 5 different local government” he began.
‘Marte, Gwoza, Guzamala, Monguno, Nganzai’
‘We are four different Volunteer Ward supervisors’ he disclosed.
‘Here is our community since the insurgence that befall us and we all live together in peace.’
Walking through the tents roughly made from trampoline and some from wood, the team got to the UNICEF clinic. It was a semi-permanent tent layered to reduce heat. There, the U-Report team was going to address more than 23 Volunteer Community Mobilizers and get them ready for the enrollment drive. The enrollment drive has been a rolling activity aimed at getting new IDP residents registered on the U-Rport24x7 platform. It also presented a unique opportunity to engage the communities, making findings on the challenges they had in using the data analysis and communication platform.
The enrollment drive went on successfully for two hours. It was time for the compassionate volunteer ward supervisor to grant an interview to the team of U-Reporters.
“I am Ba’ana Mustapha and I am 46 years old. I am a Secretary of Jama'atul Islam, tailor and UNICEF Volunteers Ward Supervisor (VWS) of Bakassi Camp.”
“I would say that U-Report has made it easier to communicate to the camp residents because before now, the only way was from human visitations and also from radio. The people in the camp have benefited from many useful information on different topics like: health, polio and missiles vaccination, COVID-19, Gender Base Violence, and Education. I also remember that before, such information was spread through letters.”
When asked how he and the community had benefited from the platform, he stated
“we have greatly enjoyed the activeness of the platform because it played a vital role in sensitization during the pandemic and other health concerns, also, we had cases of our shelters being renovated and toilets drained as a result of the reach of the platform”
“During the last year’s campaign, I have registered over a thousand people because we go for the drive weekly for about three months and even after the drive, I continued helping other to sign up despite my condition as mobile deficient.”
Many active U-Reporters understand the usefulness of the U-Report24x7 platform. They find it easy to recommend it to others and ensure that they join. Becoming a U-Reporter is simple. Text the word SHIGA to 24453. Your voice matters.