This post is part of the People’s Insights monthly briefs issue of March 2014.
Mobile as a basic necessity – just like Water
While UNICEF supports a lot of causes, their primary focus is children’s issues. This March, they challenged people to give up their mobile phones to raise funds for clean drinking water for children. For every 10 minutes given up, the UNICEF sponsors provide one day of clean water for a child. With just $5, UNICEF can give one child safe drinking water for 200 days.
Merging two parallel worlds
Water as a basic necessity. But there are around 768 million people around the world who do not have access to clean water. Every day, 1,400 children die from diseases directly linked to unsafe water or a lack of basic sanitation facilities. The UNICEF Tap project strives to help these children.
Mobile phones as a basic necessity. Mobile phones have become integral to people’s lives. According to a survey by Cisco, Gen Y finds themselves compulsively checking their smartphones for emails, texts or social media updates every so often. But they do realize it is an addiction. So keeping this in mind, UNICEF asked people to sacrifice time with their mobile phones as a symbol of their support for the cause.
How to Join the Movement
All you have to do is go to UNICEFTapProject.com using your smartphone, follow the instructions, press “Begin” and refrain from using your phone. The app can even tell when the phone is being held, and for time away to count, you’ll need to lay your phone down on a surface.
As the phone sits untouched, messages will pop up encouraging reflection about the cause behind the Tap Project and also information of people who are participating in the project.
As soon as you are done with your abstinence, simply pick up the phone and the timer will stop. You can then share the success of your efforts and the funds you raised on Facebook and Twitter.
Where the money comes from
Giorgio Armani Fragrances is the national sponsor of the UNICEF Tap Project and will donate the amount raised by the grassroots movement from March 1-31. The company will also donate $5 to the cause for each Acqua di Giò and Acqua di Gioia fragrance purchased in the U.S.
From participants to advocates
The premise of the campaign was that people believe the need to do good is bigger than their need for their mobile phones. In addition to satisfaction, people would feel a dual sense of pride at successfully participating in the movement and thus share their success on their social networks, essentially becoming advocates of the cause.