ABOUT THE MILLENNIUM FELLOWSHIP - CLASS OF 2019
United Nations Academic Impact and MCN are proud to partner on the Millennium Fellowship. In the three months the application was open in 2019, over 7,000 young leaders applied to join the Class of 2019 on 1,209 campuses across 135 nations. 69 campuses worldwide (just 6%) were selected to host the 805 Millennium Fellows.
During the Millennium Fellowship, Millennium Fellows' dedicated 96,705 hours and their 422 unique projects positively impacted the lives of 564,366 people worldwide.
UNITED NATIONS ACADEMIC IMPACT AND MCN PROUDLY PRESENT ONDIEK CYNTHIA, A MILLENNIUM FELLOW FOR THE CLASS OF 2019.
Kenyatta University | Nairobi, Kenya | Advancing SDG 12 & UNAI 9
Millennium Fellowship Project: Coz am Happy Project (Mental Health)
Coz am Happy project is a project on mental health with a single most focus on addressing mental health issues among the youth in University, the youth being our primary target. The project used a disruptive approach, deviating from the normal to a total use of the social media where there is a very heavy presence of the youth. The project aimed at creating awareness and sensitizing the youth about mental health issues which is making the world leaders scratch their head. Coz am happy project relied on the heavy presence of the youth on the social media as a way of spreading relevant messages on mental health.
WHY ART FOR MENTAL HEALTH
As already alluded to, the health care industry is employing various approaches to address the health care need. There is a growing body of evidence that approaches that are innovative yet interactive results into better health care outcome. Mental ill-health is a disease of the mind. It affects the most vital organ in human beings. Some of the interventions that are designed to address mental ill-health always targets this most precious organ, either with activities targeted to make it relax or with relevant and informative messages that will help cool down the pressure to it. And so the brain always need to relax and drop all the anxiety, pressure or anything that will alter how it functions.
The use of poetry has been found to be effective when passing critical messages on health. It is assumed, that almost everybody identifies with poetry or are lovers of it. Health messages wrapped in form of poetry is believed to reach many people than those messages that are just disseminated commonly, just by word of mouth. In comparison, there is greater knowledge retention when any form of poetry is used to disseminate health messages. Poetry is very interesting to all populations; the youth, old age and children. There is always a greater attendance in health events/activities that uses poetry. With this traffic, many people are reached with intended information on health.
DESIGN FOR THE ART FOR HEALTH MENTAL HEALTH CAMPAIGN
In the age of technological advancement, everyone, presumably, have access to internet. The arrival of the smart phone era has eased access to internet. With smartphone and the cheap computers, one can access all the information, updates, article and news with much ease. The use of social media is growing rapidly.
Kenyatta University Millennium fellows leveraged on the heavy presence online users to send messages on mental health. The fellows conducted a poetry competition where every poet came up with relevant artistic messages on mental health. These messages by various poets were then uploaded on Stowelink Facebook page (partner in the campaign) and the netizens voted on the pieces with likes, emoticons and comments. This took a period of three weeks, very ample duration to allow many people to read through the artistic yet relevant message and vote by liking the most appealing piece while also leaving their contribution in form of comments. In total, 26 pieces by 26 poets were uploaded and the online users read through the pieces while leaving a ‘like’ for the pieces that were appealing to them.
The campaign was conducted using the very interactive hashtags. #lindaburuwein and #mentalhealthmatters were used to drive the campaign on twitter and Facebook. Linda Buruwein is slang which can be loosely translated to mean protect the brain. Buruwein is a word that has found its place in the Kenyan dialect and was used purposely to help drive the campaign since it is a word that many people identify with.
As the duration for voting elapsed, Kenyatta University fellows had achieved a wonderful reach. The voting was analyzed and stats generated for the competition.
•Total of 26 poets participated in the three weeks’ social media campaign and contest on mental health.
•Total likes in three weeks was 4665 on Facebook.
•Total number of shares were 3556.
•In total, there were 3998 comments on all the pieces by each Poet.
•There was an overall reach of 30,2793 people on the Stowelink Facebook page (Stowelink co-hosted the contest).
About the Millennium Fellow
Ondiek Cynthia is a fourth year student at Kenyatta University taking environmental studies and community development. Cynthia is currently working on a project to reduce zero waste, apart from her project she is a member of Women students welfare association ( WOSWA) which advocates for girls and women's Welfare focusing on teenage pregnancies and gender based violence. Cynthia is also an environmental enthusiast and a volunteer at Greenpeace Africa.
Most of all writing and reading have formed a great part of her.