By: Lindsey Taylor Wood, Communications Associate at Women Deliver
Throughout the past week, the Social Good Summit was held in New York City to coincide with the UN General Assembly and served as a platform to highlight new initiatives and causes that are using social media to leverage support for global development issues.
One new campaign, the Million Moms Challenge, was launched on Monday of last week with the goal of connecting millions of Americans with millions of moms in developing countries worldwide; enabling them to engage on pressing health issues; and ultimately, raising awareness and funds for the women and children affected. To tackle these goals, the initiative is using social media and the ABC News broadcast and digital news platforms – and it has already raised over US$17,000 with an additional commitment from Johnson & Johnson to donate $100,000 when 100,000 participants join the campaign.
Moving from a news channel to a social networking channel, the campaign announced a Facebook game which they hope will engage a younger demographic in the fight to improve maternal and child nutrition. Conceived by The Institute for Global Health, the USC School for Cinematic Arts, and the Global Alliance for Improved Nutrition (GAIN), the game allows players to be guided through various scenarios that allow him or her to identify, specifically, how engaging government, NGOs, communities and industries affected by the crisis can directly impact the wellness of a mother and her child. By centering “mini games” on an appropriate diet, breast feeding and government regulations, for instance, the player may also call on the information of external organizations in the maternal health sphere.
The same week, the UN Foundation launched a new campaign, Shot@Life, aimed at educating, empowering, and connecting Americans, particularly American moms, around the reality that every 20 seconds, a child in a developing country dies from a vaccine-preventable disease. Their pledge to reduce child deaths already has 53,255 signatures, and they’ve worked to leverage the power of American bloggers to share their own experiences and stories about why children deserve a “shot at life.”
At a time when technology and media can accelerate the dissemination of information and fast-track development goals, the solutions required may require an out-of-the-box approach. It appears that with this rapidly growing coalition of crusaders, the time for these innovations is now.