The famine in #Somalia is a humanitarian crisis that is not reported enough in most parts of the world. French Snapchat and #Vine star Jérôme Jarre decided to change that a few days back. "But what if we could find an airplane and filled it with food and water and sent it to Somalia?" Jarre asked in a video he tweeted on 15 March. His campaign was quickly backed and promoted by influential people like actor Ben Stiller, CNN's Casey Neistat, NFL player and political activist, Colin Kaepernick and YouTuber Juanpa Zarita.
The result? Social media helped raise $1 million in just 19 hours.
How it all started
"This is the story of what can happen when the power of social media is leveraged for something good," Neistat says in a YouTube video that documents how Jarre's idea turned into actions.
It all started when Jarre read about a six-year-old Somali girl who had to walk 150 kilometres with her mother just to find water and died from dehydration after that. Somalia is drought stricken and in need of urgent aid. More than half of the country's population is facing catastrophic hunger crisis.
Following this, Jarre posted a video on twitter asking for help from Turkish Airlines, which is the only international airline that flies to Mogadishu, the capital of Somalia. Neistat's video shows that after a couple of hours, Turkish Airlines pledged to the group that it would send a cargo flight that can contain 60 tons of food to Somalia in 10 days and that they could also ship food containers until the hunger crisis ends. Thus, the hashtag #TurkishAirlinesHelpSomalia was created.
Today, as we scroll through social media pages, we can see that the power of social media has been used to throw around negativity so much that we often forget about how it can be put to good use.Turkish Airlines, Jérôme Jarre, the other celebrities and all the people who are donating to this cause are reminding us of that by doing exactly what the world needs.
How to donate
After they got the support of the airline, Love Army for Somalia, a GoFundMe page was launched by the group to solicit donations. The page says that The Stiller Foundation is also collecting donations and food distribution will be coordinated by the American Refugee Committee. Cash is flooding in from all over the world. #Social Media Campaign