#ProtectHumanity and Youth-led actions
On International Youth Day (12 August 2015), Youths member of East Asia Youth Network (EAYN) celebrated with peers, particularly bringing the call for awareness to migration issues. Together, they echoed the global campaign #ProtectHumanity launched by International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC), the EAYN initiated a social media campaign as a stimulus to stop people’ indifference towards migration.
EAYN, established in 2012, consists of Red Cross youths from China, Japan, Korea, Mongolia, North Korea, Hong Kong and Macau. As a fresh youth network with growing momentum, they have taken the initial step towards fostering youth action through very successful social media campaigns with high engagement from targeted audience. Here some awesome numbers they reached:
- Number of people reached on Facebook: 102,204
- Number of likes/shares on Facebook: 3,076
- Number of people reached on WeChat pages: 30,000
- Number of in-depth stories captured: 4 National Societies
Conducting their initiative
1. Forming the plan of action
During the 2nd Asia Pacific Youth Summit, the regional challenges were discussed and following the outcome, the EAYN conducted asurvey to identify:
- The needs of each National Society and Youth among East Asia;
- Primary needs for Youth Development in each National Society;
- What each National Societies are currently focusing on;
- The expectation and the current gap of the networking among youth.
After the session to shape the plan, the participants agreed that there are two main pillars that will sustain the two-year initiative; firstly, encourage young volunteers to be highly motivated in order to strength ownership and engagement in the activities, as well as further attracting young people to join the movement. Secondly, to sow the seed of mutual understanding, culture of non-violence, peace among the young generation and future leaders of East Asia region. Read the complete EAYN plan of action here
Why a youth network, why youth engagement?
Youth Network is a dynamic interconnected support system. It provides a platform for youth to interact, meet and remain in communication for mutual understanding, service to humanity and capacity building. This system facilitates the sharing of experience and consequently peer-support amongst youth in National Societies in accordance with the Solferino Youth Declaration 2009 and the IFRC Strategy 2020.
Recognizing the importance of Youth as key actors who promote the RCRC movement forward to reach the most vulnerable, and adding values, the 2nd Asia Pacific Youth Summit held in Beijing China (2014) provided space for the Youth leaders to design their future actions and contribute to the discussion in the 9th Asia Pacific Regional Conference, and also became a milestone to restructure the Asia Pacific Youth Network to a bottom-up NS and Grassroots-Youth-need-oriented network.
2. Planning for the International Youth Day
Within its Plan of Action, EAYN identified the International Youth Day to be an opportunity to celebrate the actions and initiatives of Red Cross Red Crescent youth, and allowing them to celebrate its togetherness and solely focus on the Humanitarian values. Such campaign aimed to fully utilize social media and recognizing youth as the champion of this technology advocacy.
As a boost, in 2015, the International Youth Day was globally launched to celebrate and support Protect Humanity –Stop Indifference Global Campaign, which calls for awareness for migration issues. EAYN adopted the same theme for echoing this worldwide initiative, a very interesting action to seize a global humanitarian trend and encourage youth across the region to participate. Discover more about Protecting Humanity here.
A huge amount of RCRC volunteers across East Asia united and uploaded photos on Facebook, Instagram and WeChat highlighting youth-led actions related with migration in their own countries, opening the gap for other people to join the #ProtectHumanity strategy and express their thoughts about migration.
Using social media as an efficient communication channel
Advantages of a social media campaign
Youth is the most connect and active group within online communities, furthermore social media is easy to administrate and free of charge. The engagement is easy to measure with likes and shares. Photos and video can go beyond language and cultural barriers, making it easier to reach more people. Each National Society advertised the strategy through their own official pages.
3. Collecting voices
Mongolia Red Cross led the first migrants interviews, the aim was to reflect the voices, situations and needs, as well as highlighting their stories by sharing them among social media, thus to raise the critical thinking and call to action. These type of actions not only enriches the daily work in the field, but also potentiates the content published online showcasing migrants’ situation and needs, raising their opinions. The interviews also helped to discuss necessities to tackle within the already running projects.