United NationsDépartement des Affaires Économiques et Sociales Développement Durable

Mérida Nos Une, a citizen network coordinate by Ayuntamiento de Mérida

Ayuntamiento de Mérida (
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    Description
    Intro

    “Mérida nos Une” is a citizens network coordinate by Merida’s City Council. It is a network to promote the support each other between the citizens since Covid-19 contingency arrived. Our tool is solidarity and the means to activate it is by our valuable digital platform where every society sector can join in.

    Implementation of the Project/Activity

    On April 13, 2020, merida.gob.mx/meridanosune was activated: Here you can, using two buttons (I want to help / I need help), offer help to those who need it or ask for it. And in the "Citizen Help" section, you can find out about the voluntary services offered by citizens on a permanent basis. It also has the section "Thank you Mérida" to recognize this solidarity. The platform was launched with 57 employees of the Mérida City Council to coordinate all the help offered or requested by users. Through the formation of 4 teams since then (the one that receives the requests for help, the one that receives the offers of help, those who link it and those who disseminate it); today the network is already coordinated by only 12 permanent collaborators and various temporary volunteers. It is important to note that it also has a citizen committee that monitors this work. At the beginning, the network needed to work with a greater number of collaborators due to the multiple requests for help, especially of a food type. Having food was the main need during the lockdown imposed by the pandemic. Subsequently, with the gradual economic reactivation, the network evolved and now also generates help and guidance through the virtual Forum "Mérida Nos Une en Vivo", which is broadcast on the Facebook Live of YoParticipoXMerida. And this 2021, Mérida Nos Une continues to evolve with new ways to help thanks to a new Directory of Social Impact Projects to promote the needs of various social causes that go beyond the pandemic. In this new directory you can register and disseminate your project or help the one that interests you the most or is within your reach.

    Results/Outputs/Impacts

    Today the aid network is made up of 401 representatives from different sectors of society who have helped 9,498 people and institutions, including Merida families, shelters, civil society organizations and hospitals. Thanks to them, 63,939 products or services have been delivered to the neediest citizens. The vast majority correspond to food aids (5,057) and the rest are personal hygiene products, protection items against covid; special medical products; as well as psychological care and house disinfection services. The virtual forum Mérida Nos Une en Vivo through its 12 broadcasts has managed to impact more than 120 thousand people with diverse themes such as emotional health, supportive youth and older adults. Mérida has almost 1 million inhabitants, more than 9,400 have been the direct beneficiaries of the aid provided in products or services and the indirect beneficiaries are more than 400 thousand people; this without adding the virtual forums.

    Enabling factors and constraints

    Merida nos Une, has moved forward thanks to the efforts and willingness of the citizens alongside the City Council of Mérida, the secretariat of citizen participation, volunteers, voluntary initiatives and projects, social communication and technological systems, who promoted and created the website where we can find the platform and efficiently support the most vulnerable people and families in the area in the face of the problems caused by COVID-19 and by the many storms and hurricanes that hit the Yucatan Peninsula and Merida in 2020.

    Sustainability and replicability

    Merida Nos Une is constantly evolving to continue creating, promoting and strengthening different forms of solidarity in Merida society. In June 2020 it expanded its services with the virtual forum and this March 2021, it launched its new directory and registry of social impact projects. In the same way, it has sought the constant improvement of its virtual platform to continue attracting more users. And most importantly, this network has shown the best of Merida society in the most difficult moments. Thanks to its dissemination, values ​​such as respect, empathy, generosity, co-responsibility, honesty and teamwork have been reinforced. Its success is due to an orderly and organized citizen participation; to the public trust towards the Mérida City Council as a linker; to the transparent management of donations and above all, to the commitment of citizens. The network was selected by the Milan Pact Talks as one of the most important actions of Mérida during the pandemic.

    COVID-19 Impact

    Mérida Nos Une did not exist before the pandemic, but was born to help confront it with citizen solidarity. In Mérida, as in the rest of the world, Covid-19 has accentuated poverty in all its dimensions with impacts on community life such as intra-family violence, mental health, insecurity and effects on childhood development. In this sense, Mérida Nos Une, has functioned as a support and connection network between citizens, organizations, companies and the government, to bring help to the most vulnerable population, which has become even more precarious in the context of COVID. As an example of help, there are the thousands of food aid granted. It has undoubtedly been an important social, moral and hope support in times of difficulty.

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    Timeline
    13 April 2020 (start date)
    31 August 2021 (date of completion)
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    Ongoing
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