Did you know that the egg you are eating consumes 135 liters of water? Did you know by the time you finish the previous sentence, a child dies from water-related diseases. In recent years, social media have contributed in real change to save the global water crisis. Thanks to the social networking websites, blogs and online videos, funding of water projects have come from people worldwide.
I first came across the September campaign 2010 from charity water on Facebook, the post started with an impactful sentence, “Birthday can change the world”, Scott Harrison have come out with an insane idea that involves them and their friends to ask for donations instead of gifts for their birthdays (Source: Charity Water). This crazy idea successfully helped over a million people get clean water. Twitter and Facebook has contributed greatly in delivering the message “Start a campaign. Give up your birthday. It can change the world”. The videos shown in the campaign make me realize that many people has no access to clean water and it also make me realize that social medias like Facebook and Twitter can help bring awareness of the project, ways to donate or volunteer due to the “viral” explosion on social media.
Water is the source of life. Clean water helps meet the basic needs of life and can save many children who might die due to water-related diseases. In the Democratic Republic of Congo, only 46 percent of the entire population has access to clean water (Source: Where water meets watts). According to charity water organization, almost a billion people on the planet do not have access to clean drinking water.
Consumption of unclean water will lead to water related diseases such as malaria, cholera etc. Water related diseases kills more people yearly than any form of violence, including violence. Children are more vulnerable as they have a weaker immune system thus being unable to fight the diseases. Clean water, sanitation and hand washing alone can help reduce water related death by 21 percent, 37.5 percent and 45 percent respectively shown in the statistic below.
Social media is a powerful tool that will help increase global awareness. Many websites allow people to share the information with friends on Facebook, Twitter, join their Facebook group or even e-mail the webpage to someone within clicks. Statistics shows that there are more than 500 million active users and 50 percent of the users log in daily on Facebook (Source: Facebook). Information shared through social media can also be re-shared therefore increasing the population of people being aware. An example of how powerful social media is the recent news on ‘puppy torture’. It all happened when an actress uploaded picture of the puppy torture on Twitter, a stranger saw it and uploaded it on social media sites. Within hours it spread worldwide and animal lovers filed police reports which brought the photographs into society’s attention.
Organizations are trying new and innovative ways to help raise funds and bring clean water to places in need. Imagine H20 organizes competition to look for ideas and innovation to improve water efficiency at areas that requires water demand reduction, improved water use and water recycling. Water Organization brought microfinance to water and sanitation sectors across many countries as grants for safe drinking water may never come despite many people getting sick and dying from unsafe water they drank. There are still many other organizations that care on how to solve the global water crisis.
In comparison, The Hunger Project is a global, non-profit organization that is committed to the sustainable end of world hunger by mobilizing village clusters to build self –reliance, empowering women and forging effective partnerships with local government (Source: The Hunger Project). Similarly, many of their donators learn about the hunger project through social media, just like the how the other organizations share information and promote their projects. Others can share it on their Facebook or Twitter account just with a click at the icons shown on the right. However the UNAIDS do not really use social media, they only have a subscribe button to get the latest updates and email others to share more information (Source: UNAIDS). In my opinion, I think that not using social media is a huge disadvantage as there is less awareness of their projects, reducing the funding and volunteers that are willing to help.
New media trends have impacted our society to be more connected with people all over the world using the internet as a medium. Using blogs, websites and even online video can help show the effectiveness of the movement itself. Due to high volume blogs, this has allowed a huge number of views and practices to be more widespread. Popularity of social networks have also played an important role to in which the content and ideas can create “viral” explosions of widespread ideas with just the right spark, combined with endless underpinning of the social web which has made it easier to boost amount of viewers on blogs, websites and online videos.
The overall strength is that Social media will helps increase public access to different forms and type of media allowing access to a greater diversity of content. Organizations can make use of social media to maximize the amount of funding they receive from people worldwide that wish to help. This will benefit those in need of clean water greatly as every twenty bucks can provide clean water for a person in the Democratic Republic of Congo for 20 years.
In my opinion, the greatest weakness is such websites may not be very reliable as money may be spent on other irrelevant stuff. Therefore people may choose not to donate and help as they are worried about their donations have not been used properly.
Therefore I think that every non-profit organization should have evidence of what the funding are used for to prevent any dishonest act. Here are some examples on how some organizations assure donors that their money is 100% used on the projects. Charity water sends notifications about their project with photos, videos and GPS locations to all fundraisers and donors when the well is completed. UNAIDS upload budget and work plans with all finance accountable for on their website which fundraisers can download and view. I am sure that doing such things will assure donors that their money has really make a difference in solving the global water crisis.
- IEEE Spectrum (2009) Retrieved October 29, 2010 from Spectrum IEEE Where Water Meets Watts interactive map website: http://spectrum.ieee.org/static/watermap
- Why Water (2010) Retrieved October 29, 2010 from Charity: Water Why Water website: http://www.charitywater.org/whywater/
- September is over, so… << charity: water log (2010) Retrieved October 30, 2010 from Charity: Water Log website: http://www.charitywater.org/blog/sept-next/
- WHO | Water and sanitation related diseases fact sheets (2010) Retrieved October 29, 2010 from World Health Organization water sanitation diseases website: http://www.who.int/water_sanitation_health/diseases/diseasefact/en/index.html
- Malaysian police probe ‘puppy torture’ pictures on Twitter (2010, October 17) Retrieved October 29, 2010 from Yahoo Singapore finance news website: http://sg.finance.yahoo.com/news/Malaysian-police-probe-puppy-afpsg-2536627222.html?x=0
- Imagine H20: Turning The World’s Water Problems Into Opportunities | Blue Living Ideas (2009, October 16) Retrieved October 29, 2010 from Blue Living Ideas: Resources for saving blue and green website: http://bluelivingideas.com/topics/water-economics/imagine-h20-turning-the-worlds-water-problems-into-opportunities/
- Water.org >> WaterCredit Q&A (2010) Retrieved October 29, 2010 Water.org WaterCredit Q&A website: http://water.org/watercredit/watercredit-qa/#what_is
- Empowering Women and Men to End Their Own Hunger | The Hunger Project (2010) Retrieved October 30, 2010 from The Hunger Project home website: http://www.thp.org/
- UNAIDS Unified Budget and Workplan (UBW) (2010) Retrieved October 30, 2010 from UNAIDS UBW website: http://www.unaids.org/en/AboutUNAIDS/UBW/default.asp
- Facebook Statistic (2010) Retrieved October 29, 2010 from Facebook Website: http://www.facebook.com/press/info.php?statistics
- 10 Best CSS Designs – Inspirations of the Week #02 | TutorialsBucket (2010, September 22) Retrieved October 30, 2010 from Tutorials Bucket website: http://www.tutorialsbucket.com/10-best-css-designs-inspiration-of-the-week-02
- Facebook Posting Trips Up Woman in Workers’ Comp Scheme – Technorati Blogging (2010, September 17) Retrieved October 30, 2010 from Technorati Article website: http://technorati.com/blogging/article/facebook-posting-trips-up-woman-in