With close to 4,000 votes in total, 23 year-old Matthew Simmonds, Economics student at The University of the West Indies, Mona, emerged the winner of the My World Video Competition 2014, promoted by the Jamaica National Building Society Foundation through its Facebook Page in May.
The competition was designed to encourage citizens toadvocate for “better public transportation and roads,” as a national priority in Jamaica and other countries around the world; and is part of the road safety awareness building initiatives being implemented by the JAA Junior Club in schools across the island.
Participants in the video contest were invited to create a 30-second video highlighting why “better public transportation and roads” should be one of the main goals to emerge from My World, the United Nations Global Survey for a Better World, which is currently in progress.
Matthew, who learned about the competition from a friend, was encouraged to enter bolstered by his video making capabilities, which would allow him to create the 30-second video that was required.
“I wanted to evoke emotions for the viewers; therefore, I depicted bad roads and asked the rhetorical question…if these are the roads that they wanted?” Matthew said, describing the concept behind his video entry.
The experience in making the video and the research to support it also provided Matthew with a new perspective on the value of better public transportation and roads.
“I actually did some reading about the UN My World Survey and I realised that bad roads do have implications for the country, not just for safety; but that, it also hinders productivity,” he stated, adding that the competition “helped to make me more aware of the other people’s views regarding roads, because we usually take roads for granted.”
After getting his friends and large social network following involved, Matthew received the highest votes of the just 28 entrants in the competition and won the first prize of a Samsung Galaxy 5 smart phone; as well as, a $10,000 gift certificate, courtesy of the JNBS, which he described as “the icing on the cake.”
The second and third place winners in the competition were Alphus Gordon and Keri Morgan who received ten free driving lessons from the JAA Driving Academy; and a $5,000 gift certificate from JN General Insurance (JNGI) respectively, as their prizes.
Saffrey Brown, General Manager of the JNBS Foundation, said, “The competition provided an opportunity for young people and adults to engage in the issue of Road Safety, by driving the advocacy initiatives among their peers, in schools and communities.”
She said that the Foundation wanted to highlight why better public transportation and roads should be listed, to possibly become one of the six issues that everyone chooses during their voting,” Ms Brown explained.
The My World Global Survey is being conducted online at vote.myworld2015.org,and is intended to assist in shaping the United Nations’ global road safety agenda, which, will in turn, inform its work with governments of member states around the world.