Adolescents and young people are hidden victims of the COVID-19 pandemic. They are heavily affected by school closures, movement restrictions, the increasing unemployment rate, and the continuous worry about their own health and of loved ones. During this critical period, it is crucial to have access to a platform where they can maintain their level of social interaction and learn something new from their peers to stay motivated. Despite the limitations of face-to-face interaction during the pandemic, UNICEF Malaysia came up with a new way to communicate with adolescents and youths beyond the traditional UNICEF social media platforms.
As of March 2021, KitaConnect has successfully engaged more than 500,000 young people, through more than 23 online sessions, 237 messages, 13 polls, 134 social media posts and 5 challenges. At least 60% of the KitaConnect members comprise of adolescents and young people aged 10-24 while 40% are adults aged 25 and above. Of these KitaConnect members, 77% were females and 4% were Persons with Disability. A survey was disseminated to KitaConnect members to assess their interest in activities, their preference in topics, their learnings, and their satisfaction with current platforms. The findings of the survey are presented in this report, and will inform the design of the next phase of KitaConnect starting from this year. UNICEF is committed to scaling up this online youth engagement platform to meet the diverse needs of young people, especially from the marginalized communities, in the next phase. As UNICEF marks its 75th anniversary this year, we continue to respond, recover and reimagine a better world for every child and young person.