By Evonne Tang from Youthink Center
The Chinese youth-led organization YouThink has taken on an amazing initiative to collect MY World votes and their results have been astounding: in 2 weeks more than 3,000 volunteers in China have collected over 70,000 votes—with more offline votes yet to be counted! One volunteer, Cheng Yachan, was able to collect an astounding 1,739 votes—the highest number of votes collected by an individual!
These votes have been collected not only from mainland of China, but also from Hong Kong, Macao and Taiwan. The top three provinces with the greatest number of volunteers were Beijing, Guangdong and Shanghai. Additionally, Chinese students who are studying abroad, in countries like the United States, Britain, and France also have helped to collect survey results.
How are volunteers getting the world out? Some volunteers have utilized social networks, messaging apps, and student unions/clubs. In order to help spread ideas and promote this kind of creative collaboration, YouThink set up several chats on QQ (an instant messaging app) that the volunteers can communicate across.
One adventurous volunteer went offline to make sure that everyone’s voices are heard. This volunteer from Yunnan province in China traveled deep into the mountains in order to collect the voices of minority ethnic groups in remote areas. Because a number of these villagers were illiterate, the volunteer had to read out all of the options and explain them to everyone. By collecting these voices, volunteers like this one are helping to ensure that the survey truly reflects the people’ ‘voices. According to the volunteer, “I may not able to drive the survey forward as quickly as I would have if I had done it online, but this should be the idea of the MY Word Survey: each individual should have their voice heard.”
In order to promote and reward this kind of passion and drive, YouThink will have awards for some of their most devoted volunteers. Winners will not necessarily be judged on how many votes they collected, but how they embodied the spirit of the MY World survey. YouThink is calling on their volunteers to send in their stories, videos and pictures, telling us how they feel and what they think about the MY World Survey.
It’s interesting that in China, their number one priority is “Better transport and roads,” and second is “Support for people who can’t work,” which is very different from the global priority. “Climate change” and” Access to clean water and sanitation” are also high up (Top 5), much higher compared to global priorities.
Background data available from www.myworld2015.cn