Ethiopia

Twitter Gifts are on Their Way

By David Hylton,
Public Relations Specialist

It has taken just a little longer than we anticipated, but the gifts for children and families in four African countries made possible by our Twitter campaign in July are in transit.

As part of our Twitter campaign, Flip video cameras have arrived in The Gambia and Zambia.

As part of our Twitter campaign, Flip video cameras have arrived in The Gambia and Zambia.

To give you a brief recap, the Twitter campaign worked like this: every 200 followers @ChildFund received during two weeks in July meant a gift from our Gifts of Love and Hope catalog to one of the countries. The gifts were made possible by an anonymous donor who went above their usual giving amount. You can read more about our campaign here.

When the campaign ended July 27, we had more than 2,200 followers, which meant 11 gifts. Two sets of chickens are now headed to a school in The Gambia; three goats are going to families in Zambia; three sets of 15 grafted mango trees will be planted in Kenya; and three sets of vegetable seeds will soon arrive in Ethiopia.

These donations are about much more than the actual item. Each item represents a livelihood for a family, income, responsibility, and, most importantly, an opportunity for a brighter future thanks to each of you.

Small video cameras have already been shipped to The Gambia and Zambia and we expect footage from those areas in the coming weeks. As the videos arrive back in our U.S. headquarters in Richmond, Va., we will share them with you. Due to delivery issues to remote parts of the world and technology issues with slow Internet connections in many areas where we work, getting information from our program areas takes time and patience from everyone involved.

Thanks to everyone for following and helping to change the lives of 11 children and their families.

For more information about ChildFund International, visit www.ChildFund.org.

Celebrating the World’s Youth

By David Hylton,
Public Relations Specialist

International Youth Day is a day to celebrate what the next leaders of our world have accomplished. At ChildFund International we work with children throughout all stages of life – infants, children and youth – to help them bring lasting and positive change to their communities.

On this International Youth Day, we venture to Ethiopia where a group of young people have established their own studio:

Realizing a Vision

The future of the world’s news is here. Two years ago, youth in ChildFund International’s programs in Ethiopia were In the studio in Ethiopiasent to a video and photography training institution to learn about film production.

Shortly thereafter, these youth came up with the idea of establishing their own studio.

“A month before our graduation, we started discussing our future employment opportunity and the way we find it,” says 21-year-old Abraham Salasebew. “While analyzing this, we came up with the idea of establishing our own studio.”

The group of 11 youth with the same interest went to ChildFund Ethiopia staff and shared their vision for the studio. In response ChildFund showed its willingness to support the effort both technically and financially.

In April 2008, they received a legal license to establish the studio – Abogida Digital Studio – which began with one digital photo camera, one video camera and a computer. The group, though, still faced financial troubles with high rent for the studio and a loan that needed to be repaid. Working with ChildFund Alliance partner CCF Kinderhilfswerk (Germany), the group obtained a photocopy machine, a sound mixer and a tripod, among other items.

With these additions, the youth turned things around and are now making a profit. The Abogida Digital Studio offers photo and video recording and editing, film production and more.

“We would like to thank ChildFund for its commitment to support unemployed youth like us to realize our vision and change our hopelessness position,” Abraham says.

For more information about ChildFund International’s worth with youth, click here.

The Next Step

By David Hylton,
Public Relations Specialist

Thank you, thank you, thank you! We can’t say it enough! On July 10 when we launched our Twitter campaign, we didn’t quite know what to expect. We knew we’d get a lot of new followers, but perhaps we underestimated the generosity of people out there. For everyone who lent a hand in this – THANK YOU! Twitter

As the campaign ended at noon today, we had more than 2,200 followers – that’s 11 gifts to help deprived, excluded and vulnerable children and families in The Gambia, Zambia, Kenya and Ethiopia. (For more information on the campaign and how it worked, click here to read our initial post and here when we reached 1,500 followers.)

Now that this campaign is over, what’s next? Thanks to anonymous donors who are going above their usual giving amount for this campaign, children and families will receive the following gifts:

• Chickens for a school in The Gambia
• A goat for a family farm in Zambia
• Mango trees in Kenya
• Vegetable seeds in Ethiopia

Over the next few days, we will ship the items to the program areas so they can be put to immediate use. During this process, we are working with ChildFund International employees in those countries to film video and take pictures so that you can see how following us on Twitter helped children living in poverty. It’s a commitment from us to hold an accountable dialogue with you.

We expect this process may take a couple of months to complete. Due to delivery issues to remote parts of the world and technology issues with slow Internet connections in many areas where we work, getting information from our program areas takes time and patience from everyone involved.

Now that the Twitter campaign is over, it certainly doesn’t mean that our presence there is disappearing. We’ll continue to post updates about ChildFund, answer questions followers may have, retweet others’ posts on topics we find relevant and much more. This campaign is only the beginning of our conversation.

Twitter Campaign Enters Its Final Days

Our Twitter campaign is drawing to a close – it will officially end at noon Monday, July 27 (by noon we mean on the East Coast in the U.S.). This campaign started July 10 as a way to bring awareness Children in Africato the needs of children and families in four African countries. For every 200 followers @ChildFund receives, agricultural gifts will be given to families and children in The Gambia, Zambia, Kenya and Ethiopia from our Gifts of Love and Hope catalog.

So far we have more than 2,000 followers — that means 10 gifts to help children and families in those countries. These gifts are being made possible by donors giving above their usual amount.

We’d once again like to thank several blogs and followers on Twitter for bringing awareness to this campaign, in addition to ones we have already mentioned:

Triple Pundit 
NetWits Think Tank
Social Butterfly
YouthKi Awaaz 
@LiveEarth
@Jason_Pollock
@GeoffLiving

Once the campaign ends, we’ll send the gifts to the communities. We’re also sending small video cameras so we can share firsthand how these gifts make a difference in the lives of the individuals and the community. We want you to know that your efforts are leading to the well-being of the world. Continue to check back for additional details in the coming weeks.

For more information about ChildFund International, please visit www.ChildFund.org.

Follow Us on Twitter, Help the World’s Children

Follow us on Twitter and you can make the difference in the lives of children. Really. It’s that simple.

To celebrate our new name and our commitment to children, we’re giving agriculture gifts from our Gifts of Love and Hope catalog to children and families for every 200 Twitter followers we receive. Twitter

These efforts will directly benefit children in The Gambia, Zambia, Kenya and Ethiopia. There is no cap on followers, and the offer will continue through July 27. Each country has different needs so the gifts vary:

• Chickens for a school in The Gambia
• A goat for a family farm in Zambia
• Mango trees in Kenya
• Vegetable seeds in Ethiopia

As part of the effort, ChildFund International is sending Flip video cameras to program offices in each of the four countries to report back. We’ll share the recipients’ stories and photos with you. We want to share how your efforts and these items benefit children and their communities. It is also a commitment not to simply promote, but to continue an accountable dialog with our supporters.

So come follow us. Tell your friends. Tell your friends’ friends. By simply following @ChildFund we can all make a difference in a child’s life.

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