Originally published on the Star Wars website. To read the original article, click here.
This is the second update about the Disney and Star Wars™: Force For Change collaboration with UNICEF. Read the first update here.
Since Disney and Lucasfilm became founding members of the UNICEF Innovation Fund in 2014, Star Wars: Force For Change has raised more than $5 million to date to support UNICEF’s programs that engage and empower youth around the world.
We’re now happy to report on the first handful of outcomes from this collaboration. Learn more about them below—and stay tuned for more updates coming soon!
- U-Reporters: now 1 million and counting!
This is truly a moment to celebrate. Thanks to the support of Star Wars fans from around the world, UNICEF was able to expand U-Report — a text-message-based tool that allows young people to speak out on issues that matter to them, while enabling government and community leaders to identify trends and problems in real-time.
U-Report is now available in 15 countries, reaching more than 1 million registered U-Reporters worldwide. New country additions such as Chile and Mexico were made possible by the Star Wars: Force For Change collaboration with UNICEF.
Now, more than 1 million U-Reporters are making change happen in their communities. With new access to information, they can now be active participants in the high-level decisions that affect their lives.
Cleopatra John, a young woman who lives in Uganda and who was one of the first registered U-Reporters, had this message to share:
“Let everyone know: yes we can make a change,” she says. “We can stand for what we believe in. We can make a difference. Let’s transform this world. Let’s be more effective. Let’s be more in touch. Let’s stand together with one voice and let that voice be heard.”
As we celebrate this moment, we look forward to a day when we can celebrate the 10 millionth U-Reporter!
You can get involved. Follow @UReportGlobal on Twitter and answer the registration questions sent to you via a direct message.
- Pregnant mothers in South Africa can now get lab results faster
Our support will enable real-time lab results for mothers, connecting them to clinics and labs so that they can receive test results faster via SMS.
This expands the existing MomConnect program, an SMS-based program in South Africa that uses basic mobile phones to inform expecting mothers about how to stay healthy during the course of pregnancy, childbirth and up to the child’s first birthday.
- Winning ideas from the Global Design for UNICEF Challenge
The Global Design for UNICEF Challenge is an online youth innovation challenge that engages students in applying human-centered design to local problems with global implications.
This year’s theme was Connectivity. Students were challenged to solve this problem: how can we better connect the underconnected? The winning ideas came from youth in Nicaragua and Indonesia.
In Nicaragua, the winning team created “HealthConnect: Quality Health Across Barriers,” which aims to redesign health service delivery to indigenous rural communities in the North Caribbean Autonomous Region of Nicaragua (RACN). Learn more about their project here.
In Indonesia, the winning team “We are Siblings” developed a Sisterhood and Brotherhood program. The program aims to connect children on five big islands in Indonesia, raise awareness about child violence, and connect at-risk children to critical support networks. Learn more here.
Stay tuned for more updates coming soon!