April 28, 2015

How social media platforms are responding to the Nepal earthquake, and how you can help

 

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By Caroline Avakian / Photo above courtesy of Facebook

It was just a few hours after I found out about the devastating Nepal earthquake that I noticed an alert on my Facebook feed that I hadn’t seen before. My colleague who works in Nepal had been marked “Safe” in Facebook’s new “Safety Check” feature, that instantly let me know how many of my Facebook friends were in the “affected area”, how many had been “marked safe”, and also allowed me to mark myself safe in the event I was in the “affected area”.

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The Safety Check feature was quickly followed up by a “Donate” feature, so if you log into Facebook today, you’ll notice a message at the top of your news feed that lets you donate to International Medical Corpsa humanitarian organization Facebook has partnered with to provide emergency aid. Facebook is also providing matching funds of up to two million to provide immediate and ongoing relief. The IMCs emergency response teams are operating mobile medical units in Nepal, India and Bangladesh, to deliver critically needed medical care and medicines to the regions hardest-hit by the earthquake. They’re distributing hygiene kits, water purification tablets and other supplies to the most devastated areas.

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November 18, 2009

TweetsGiving: Ways to show your gratitude

TweetsGivingLogoAmy Sample WardThere are just six days to go before TweetsGiving! Next week, participants will share what they are grateful for through Twitter and other online media and attend gratitude parties around the world.

People will donate to a shared cause in honor of that for which they are most grateful. Funds raised will go to support the work of Mama Lucy Kampton (@MamaLucy), a change maker who has transformed her community in Arusha, Tanzania, through her school, Shepherd’s Junior.

Learn more and show your gratitude!

Scheduled for Nov. 24–26 (Tuesday to Thursday), the 48-hour event created by Epic Change will encourage participants to express their thanks using online tools and at live events. In honor of the people and things that make them grateful, guests will be invited to give to a common cause at events held across the globe.

Why TweetsGiving?

Last year, funds from TweetsGiving helped build a classroom in Tanzania. This year, the Epic Change team is working on building a technology lab there.  Continue reading

November 2, 2009

Forge: Helping to revitalize African communities

Refugees revitalizing African communities from JD Lasica on Vimeo.

JD LasicaOne of the most impressive people I met at the recent Social Capital Markets conference in San Francisco was Kjersten Erickson, executive director of Forge, who founded the international NGO six years ago when she was a junior at Stanford University. Forge works with refugees and war-affected populations in Africa to bring some stability to their lives.

FORGE“We provide a support system to allow refugees and post-conflict communities to rebuild and revitalize themselves,” Kjersten says in this 4-minute video interview. Forge helps about 60,000 refugees a year by offering locally tailored solutions to help them achieve self-sufficiency. The Forge team helps runs libraries, solar-powered computer training centers, agricultural loan programs and income-generating activities that “contribute to a level of economic independence that has proven to be critical to break the cycle of war and poverty in Africa,” she says.

The Forge site lets you engage with specific refugee projects pr social entrepreneurs and lets you chart their progress with blog updates directly from the field or with unfiltered monthly progress reports. FORGE primarily targets assistance to youths, preschool students, women, the elderly and vulnerable in such countries as Zambia, Botswana, the Congo, Rwanda, Angola, Burundi, Sudan and elsewhere.

Watch, embed or download this video on Vimeo

Today the Jenzabar Foundation announced it was recognizing FORGE as the inaugural winner of the Social Media Leadership Award “due to their exceptional understanding and utilization of social media technologies to support their organization’s current and future endeavors.” Continue reading