Earlier this year, a client I advise about social media and web technology approached me asking for help with a fund raising effort on Twitter. The idea was to raise enough money, $10,000, to set up a young Kenyan boy and his brother with a store they could operate and make a living.
This situation was special because the boy had lost his arms after both his parents died from AIDS. He was so distraught, the village elders were worried he might take his own life, so they tied him up, cutting off the circulation resulting in him losing both arms. It was a tragic story but one with a happy ending. The www.boywithoutarms.org
campaign raised over $10,000 to build the boy and his brother their store. Donations were raised over a 48 hour period, using Twitter and a web page, asking for $10 donations. A similar effect was sucessful at Thanksgiving last year, but frankly, the results amazed me.
, US Mobilization Director with Global Hope Network International, a non-profit and non-religious organization, is undertaking his next Twitter-based fund raising campaign to build two schools, one in Kenya and the other in Ethiopia. Same approach: Twitter, requests for $10 donations, and a web site, http://buildanafricanschool.org
Social media is getting a lot attention, especially Twitter and Facebook. CNN, Dell, Microsoft, and countless other businesses use Twitter to reach their customers. Individual users Twitter to connect with colleagues, family and friends. But there's more to Twitter than just a short message, micro-blogging platform.
Twitter can mobilize people, it can call them to action, and it can do good in the world, reaching even the poorest villages in Africa. Whether you're a social media wonk or a sckeptic, social media is having an impact on our society. I'd prefer it be a positive one, and the Build An African School
shows us just how much of a positive impact social media can have.
Now… here's your chance to make a difference in the lives of a bunch of kids in Kenya and Ethiopia who can move from holding school under a tree, to school building and a classroom. Over the next two days (Wednesday and Thursday):