Yuvaa, a youth media, community engagement and insights company, announced an initiative in partnership with Instagram, to spread the message of empathy and kindness, through virtual workshops, appointment of ‘Kindness Champions’ and releasing a new content series – Unlabel 2.0.
Since the beginning of the year, the team at Yuvaa has been promoting empathy, kindness and mental health positive conversations, through online and offline engagement with youth across cities, like Gandhinagar, Raipur, Indore, Mangalore and Chennai, through its flagship programme called The Yuvaa Roadshow of Kindness.
This included a partnership with Instagram, for an Unlabel India initiative, that aimed at engaging with half a million teens. But with social and now physical distancing measures in place, the partnership has evolved to keep ‘kindness’ as the key goal and thereby move into a new phase of the initiative, now called ‘366 Days of Kindness’.
Nikhil Taneja, co-founder and CEO of Yuvaa, said, “As the online and offline worlds increasingly become toxic, there is nothing more important than empowering India’s youth with the tenets of kindness, so that they – and we – can have more empathetic and compassionate discourses around 2020’s most urgent issues, through the safe spaces we create for and with them.
“We are incredibly proud of our partnership with Instagram and the pivotal work we hope to continue doing with them around kindness,” Taneja said.
The partnership with Instagram will unfold in three phases – one, vital workshops with teens and young adults, that will result in the appointment of ‘Kindness Champions’ who will use their own community pages and platforms on Instagram, and their colleges offline, to create kinder spaces; two, hosting critical conversations with key psychologists and influencers on nurturing a safer online environment.
This will begin with two conversations featuring youth influencers Kusha Kapila, Dolly Singh, Sejal Kumar, Sukhnidh Kaur and Ankush Bhaguna, at the upcoming India Film Project (October 25th).
There will also be a second part of the ‘Unlabel’ content series, highlighting youth who’re fighting stereotypes. Three, instituting research on Indian teens, who’ve particularly faced challenges this year.
Tara Bedi, Public Policy and Community Outreach Manager, Instagram, Facebook India, said, “Our community is the heart of Instagram, and we’re focused on keeping people safe and building new features that fight bullying, improve equity and help people feel supported.
“With #366daysofkindness we’re looking to accelerate our efforts in engaging with the youth in the country and spread a culture of kindness; for which we’re glad to partner with Yuvaa,” Bedi said.
Under #366DaysOfKindness, Yuvaa has already made over 500 posts and created over 1000 pieces of content on kindness, driving conversations around mental health, empathy, gender, sexuality, inequality and racism, through videos like ‘Dear Parents’, that’s got over 1 million views on Instagram and features some of the country’s best known influencers like Prajakta Koli, and through its initiatives like the Yuvaa Therapy Project, where Yuvaa partnered with a mental health organisation to give over 500 hours of free therapy to students.
#366DaysofKindness recently got a shout out by Adam Mosseri, Head of Instagram, in his 10th birthday message, with the context ‘people all over the world can rally around each other for support and connection, with important conversations’.
The other hashtags included were along with Jameela Jameel’s #iweigh, American Foundation for Suicide Prevention’s #realconvo and Instagram’s #KindComments, and besides global movements like #blacklivesmatter #lovewins and #metoo.