Twitter

World Water Day Tweet-Out Winners!

Last week, to build awareness around World Water Day, ChildFund asked its social media supporters to take to Twitter and inform their followers on the issues of water insecurity for children around the world. Today, we’re excited to announce the winners of our World Water Day tweet-out and share the five most inspirational tweets. The top tweeter and four runners-up will receive water-related Gifts of Love & Hope sent in their honor.

#Water4Children

#Water4Children

Top Tweet:
Hockey Chick @ChicksDigHockey
Water is life. Clean water impacts health, happiness and intellect. @ChildFund can show you how to save lives. #Water4Children #GiftOfLife

@ChicksDigHockey will have a 1,000 liter water tank delivered in their honor to a family in Mexico (valued at $190).

Runners-up:
Confetti ❤ @confettilove_
No matter if the glass is 1/2 empty or full… it needs to be clean! #worldwaterday #Water4Children

WASHadvocates @WASHadvocates
#Children just like our kids, nieces, nephews, grandchildren do not have clean #water. Together we can help #Water4Children #WorldWaterDay

STARS Foundation @STARSFdn
It seems (clean) water is more than just the source of life; it’s the source of health, education and dignity too. #waterday #Water4Children

Aksel Kibar @TechCharts
While we drink bottled water, some children around the world don’t even have access to tap water. Let’s give #Water4Children

We will deliver an apple tree seedling and a watering can to five children in Ethiopia in honor of @confettilove_, @WASHadvocates, @STARSFdn, and @TechCharts.

Thank you to all those who participated! We appreciate your help in informing others on the critical necessity of clean water for children.

Fresh Water Arrives for Children in The Gambia

By Ya Sainey Gaye, ChildFund The Gambia

World Water Day is held annually on March 22 to focus attention on the importance of freshwater and to advocate for the sustainable management of freshwater resources.

man carrying water filter on his back

A staff member delivers the new water filtering system to the ECD center.

The Sintet Early Childhood Development Center in The Gambia recently received a water filter from ChildFund Germany, a device that provides clean, drinkable water. Before the delivery of the filter on March 18, the center’s staff had to manually filter water from an open well. The center serves 153 children in the western part of The Gambia, near the Senegal border.

large group of children line up for fresh water

Children in the ECD program are excited to have fresh water to drink.

The manager of the Eastern Foni Federation, ChildFund’s local partner, and the head of the ECD center expressed delight in the donation, which will make water filtration easier, faster and more reliable. The Gambia has a severe shortage of clean water, and ChildFund has provided filtration systems to several regions in this small country.

Since 1984, ChildFund has supplied safe drinking water to more than 79 percent of the families served in our program areas in The Gambia, as well as helped many build basic sanitary facilities.

Were you inspired by today’s blog? Share your thoughts on the subject with your Twittter followers! This week, ChildFund is encouraging its supporters to “tweet-out” for World Water Day using the hashtag #Water4Children. Top tweeters will receive water gifts sent to a family in their honor. More details here.

‘Tweet Out’ for World Water Day

By Loren Pritchett, ChildFund staff writer

To build awareness around World Water Day on March 22, ChildFund is asking its Twitter followers to compose their best tweets to shed light on the issues of water insecurity for children around the world.

Children like Rachel, 8, collect water for drinking and cooking from unsafe sources like sandy wells and muddy streams.

Children like Rachel, 8, collect water for drinking and cooking from unsafe sources like sandy wells and muddy streams.

Starting March 18, ChildFund’s Twitter followers are encouraged to “tweet out” about water issues or ways to solve them. The individual who tweets the most inspiring message will have a 1,000 liter water tank delivered in their honor to a family in Mexico (valued at $190). Four runners-up will each have an apple tree seedling and a watering can delivered in their honor to a child in Ethiopia (valued at $15). Both prizes will be sent from our Gifts of Love & Hope catalog; plus, all winners will receive a piece of ChildFund swag!

How to Enter:

  1. Follow ChildFund on Twitter. (All tweeters must follow ChildFund so that we can communicate with winners and finalists through Twitter direct messages.)
  2. Compose a tweet bringing awareness to the issue of water insecurity for children and/or World Water Day. Each tweet must include the hashtag #Water4Children.
  3. Tweet as often as you like between March 18 and March 22. Each tweet must be original and posted by 11:59 p.m. on March 22.
Each day, Rachel and her mother walk six hours to get  to and from their water source in Kenya.

Each day, Rachel and her mother walk six hours to get to and from their water source in Kenya.

Get Inspired
Think of yourself as a World Water Day ambassador. We encourage each tweeter to think of a short but compelling message to inform their followers of the issues of water insecurity – especially for children. Think of the kids who fall ill from drinking unsanitary water; the farmers in drought-stricken regions who have lost their livelihoods during dry conditions and therefore cannot provide nutritious food to their children; or the young people who walk 4 miles multiple times a day to collect water.

Sample Tweets to Get You Started

  •  #Water4Children is fuel for life.
  • A child’s access to clean water is a necessity. It should not be a luxury. #Water4Children
  • 780 mil people lack access to clean water. Together we can help. #Water4Children

Start Tweeting Today!
The five-day tweet-off runs until 11:59 (ET) Friday, March 22 (World Water Day). A panel of ChildFund staff members will choose the top five tweets and we’ll announce the winner and four finalists on Monday, March 25, 2013. Remember: we cannot see your tweets without the hashtag #Water4Children.

Rachel and her mother, Patricia, return home after collecting water.

Rachel and her mother, Patricia, return home after collecting water.

The Rules in One Easy List

  • Follow ChildFund on Twitter. Send a compelling, informative tweet with the hashtag  #Water4Children. Multiple original tweets are encouraged.
  • The “tweet-out” starts March 18 and will conclude on March 22 at 11:59 p.m. (Eastern Time).
  • An internal panel of judges at ChildFund International will select the top five tweets.
  • On March 25, ChildFund will announce the 5 winners on ChildFund’s Twitter, Facebook and Blog.
  • ChildFund will notify winners through Twitter direct messages.

It’s that simple – tweet out! Do your part to build awareness; join the conversation and get people talking about World Water Day and why children deserve clean water.

Tweets Help a Young Woman Return to School

Reporting by ChildFund Ethiopia

When Mekdes was just 3 years old, her father passed away and her mother was unable to take care of her daughter on her own. So Mekdes went to live with her grandmother in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

Ethiopian teen

Mekdes at home in Addis Ababa.

Today, 14 years later, Mekdes should be enrolled in grade 10 at Ketchene Secondary School, but times have been tough in recent years.

Mekdes was making good grades and enjoying her classes. Then her grandmother lost her job—their only source of income. Mekdes was forced to drop out of school and start working before she completed the national high school leaving examination that would open the door to advanced education.

Fighting back tears, she explains her situation: “We have no income at this time for our living. We have no one to help us. Our lives [have] become strange and gloomy. We are passing the day without food and go to bed with hunger.”

Since dropping out of school, Mekdes worked as a hairdresser and a day laborer for a small company, but her real dream is to finish school and become a doctor.

Thanks to ChildFund’s International Women’s Day Twitter campaign, that dream now has a better chance of becoming reality.

In March, we asked our Twitter followers to post 200 tweets and retweets focused on girls and women during a four-day time period culminating on International Women’s Day. As an incentive for the awareness-building campaign, we would honor our Twitter followers by awarding a one-year scholarship to a deserving Ethiopian girl (one of the items available in ChildFund’s Gifts of Love & Hope catalog).

ChildFund’s Twitter followers surpassed the goal, unleashing 275 tweets like: “Secure girls = strong women,” and “Being a student makes a girl unavailable for marriage.”

Mekdes is the recipient of the scholarship gift. She plans to work during the day and take evening classes so that she can complete her secondary education.

“Now with the help I got from ChildFund, I will start to train in hair dressing and make money,” she says of her near-term goals. “For me, ChildFund is my life. My grandmom is also so happy with the chance I got. She cried first when she heard the news, delighted with the hope we get from ChildFund.”

Thank you, ChildFund Tweeps!

Tweet With ChildFund on International Women’s Day

by Lee Steinour, Communications Assistant

Your tweets can help send a girl to school!

Starting today, March 5, and continuing through International Women’s Day on March 8 (5 p.m. EST), ChildFund is inviting its Twitter followers to tweet out on critical issues related to girls and women.

In developing countries, child marriage derails as many as 10 million girls a year from achieving their potential as women.

Lack of access to quality health care is another obstacle for girls and women who live in poverty.

And, in many countries, education for girls is a low priority or not available at all.

Girls in boarding school

Nanin'goi Girls' Primary and Boarding School, Mosiro, Kenya. Photo: Jake Lyell

At ChildFund, we believe the healthy development of girls is critical to breaking the cycle of poverty. When girls have a secure childhood, they grow up to be strong women who lead positive change in their communities.

To mark International Women’s Day, we’re asking ChildFund’s Twitter fans to help build awareness around issues critical to women by tweeting and retweeting posts.

Please use the hashtag #girls2women in each Twitter post. If we reach 200 tweets and retweets in four days, we’ll honor our Twitter followers by providing a one-year educational scholarship to a girl in one of ChildFund’s projects.

Invite your friends to get involved by retweeting your posts and creating their own woman- and girl-focused tweets.

Need help with tweet ideas?

How about answering the question: What does International Women’s Day mean to you?

Or, send out some of these suggested tweets:

  •  Secure girls become strong women #girls2women #IWD
  • An estimated 10 million girls are married annually before they reach 18 #girls2women #IWD
  • Girls under 15 are 5x more likely to die in childbirth than women in their 20s. #girls2women #IWD
  • Help a girl fulfill her dream of completing her education#girls2women #IWD
  • Ensure girls have the foundation to become future leaders #girls2women #IWD

Happy tweeting, and remember to use the #girls2women hashtag. We can’t wait to see what you come up with!

Finalists Named in the ChildFund Mother’s Day Tweet-Off

by Virginia Sowers, ChildFund Community Manager

Photo of mother and childrenTo get an early start on Mother’s Day celebrations, we asked our ChildFund Twitter followers to compose their best tweets describing why children matter to mothers around the world.

A big thank-you to everyone who responded last week. We read some great tweets! It was not an easy job for our ChildFund panel to choose the five finalists.

Congrats to the Finalists

  • @IloveChildFund:The miraculous part about being a sponsor is that one person really can make a difference in the world. It’s amazing! #ChildFundMom
  • @michizen: Child sponsorship is a life enriching, selfless, loving act that reminds us that we are all connected. #ChildFundMom
  • @KRDRE1974: The sweetest word a child can say is Mommy. #ChildFundMom
  • @stopxtrempovrty: Unconditional love is a mother’s greatest gift. #ChildFundMom
  • @IloveChildFund: I share our sponsorship experience with our children so that my passion for ChildFund will one day be their passion, too. #ChildFundMom

Today, Phase 2 of the tweet-off begins — voting for your favorite finalist by retweeting.

To Vote
1) Follow ChildFund on Twitter.
2) Watch for the release of the Twitter finalists at 8 a.m., noon and 4 p.m. on May 4 and May 5.
3) Retweet your favorite message as often you like until 4:59 p.m. (ET) on Friday, May 5. The #ChildFundMom hashtag must be included.
4) The tweet that receives the most retweets will be declared the winner. (Hint for finalists: Ask your friends to follow ChildFund on Twitter and retweet your tweet.)

We will announce the winner of the popular vote on May 9, just after Mother’s Day. The prize: a $50 shopping spree in our Gifts of Love & Hope catalog — with the winner choosing gifts to be delivered to the field in his or her honor. Plus, the winner will receive some neat ChildFund gear.

So, start retweeting!

‘Tweet Out’ for Children on Mother’s Day

by Lee Steinour, ChildFund Communications Coordinator

Mother and daughter photoTo celebrate Mother’s Day, ChildFund is rallying its Twitter followers to compose their best tweets describing why children matter to mothers around the world.

From April 26-29, ChildFund’s Twitter followers are asked to “tweet out” about children and mothers. The individual who posts the most inspiring tweet (as determined by popular vote) wins a $50  shopping spree in our Gifts of Love & Hope catalog — choosing gifts to be delivered to the field in his or her honor. Plus, the winner will receive some neat ChildFund gear.

How to Enter
1) Follow ChildFund on Twitter.
(All tweeters must be followers of ChildFund so that we can communicate by direct message with finalists and the winner.)
2) Compose a tweet celebrating Mother’s Day and children. Each tweet must include the hashtag #ChildFundMom.
3) Tweet as often as you like between April 26-29, but each tweet must be original.

Get Inspired
Think about the generations of mothers who have helped raise children who have grown up to make our world a better place. Reflect on your own children and the special place they hold in your heart. Think about the children you sponsor and the vital role of the child’s mother — from birth to childhood and through the teen years. Tweet about it!

Sample Tweets to Get You Started

  • Children are the light in a mother’s eyes. #ChildFundMom
  • Healthy mothers have healthier children. #ChildFundMom
  • The world cannot survive if our children don’t thrive. #ChildFundMom
  • A child is a mother’s treasure that we must all protect. #ChildFundMom

Start Tweeting Today
The four-day tweet-off runs until 11:59 (ET) Friday, April 29. Then, we’ll gather all of the tweets, and ask a panel of ChildFund judges to select the five most inspirational messages.

On May 4, we’ll announce the top five tweets on Twitter and Facebook and launch a two-day voting period by ChildFund Twitter followers.

To vote, simply retweet your favorite message as often you like until 5 p.m. (ET) on May 5. The tweet that receives the most retweets will be the winner. (Hint for finalists: Ask you friends to follow ChildFund and retweet your tweet.)

We will announce the winner of the popular vote on May 9, just after Mother’s Day.

All the Rules in One Easy List

  • Multiple original tweets are encouraged starting April 26 and concluding at 11:59 p.m. (Eastern Time) April 29.
  • An internal panel of judges at ChildFund International selects the top-five tweets.
  • On May 4 and 5, the top-five tweets will be announced at 9 a.m., noon, and 4 p.m. (ET) on ChildFund’s Twitter site, and once per day on Facebook.
  • All ChildFund Twitter followers will be invited to vote on the top-five finalists by simply retweeting their favorite(s).
  • The retweeting window closes at 4:59 p.m. (ET) on May 5.
  • From among the finalists, the tweet receiving the highest number of retweets (as tracked by the hashtag #ChildFundMom) will be officially announced May 9 on Twitter.

Show Your Passion for ChildFund This Valentine’s Day

by Virginia Sowers
Community Manager

We just launched an expanded Facebook site to engage more interactively with our growing online community.

The new page features virtual gifts from the ChildFund catalog, an instant poll, a link to our Twitter feed and videos from our YouTube channel. Our fans now have opportunities to virally share important ways they are helping change a childhood through sponsorship and donations.

We also have a special focus on Haiti, linking Facebook fans to our donation page on the ChildFund Web site.

And just in time for Valentine’s Day, we’ve created a downloadable ChildFund heart symbolizing our work in 31 countries around the globe. We’re inviting Facebook fans to download the badge and use it for their profile picture leading up to Feb. 14.

By integrating several of our social media platforms with Facebook, we aim to project a consistent brand presence that resonates with our supporters and attracts new members to our child-focused community.

Social networks like Facebook and Twitter are rapidly becoming preferred methods for sharing news, discussing important issues and staying in touch.

One of our long-term ChildFund sponsors reconnected with a former sponsored child on Facebook. It had been four years since the young man left the ChildFund program, and their online reunion was an incredibly happy moment.

If you’re not already connected to ChildFund through social media, we invite you to find out what you’ve been missing! More important, we want to hear firsthand how you’ve changed a child’s life and what ChildFund means to you.

ChildFund Tweets for Children’s Rights

Our Twitter followers have spoken.

Image: Cris Wallace

Children should have the right to:

  • know the love of family
  • laugh every day!

Those are the two child-right tweets that were retweeted the most during ChildFund International’s Twitter event to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the Convention of the Rights of the Child.

From Nov. 20-Dec. 3, we invited Twitter followers to share a specific right they believed children should have for healthy development.

A panel of ChildFund employees, representing global programs, marketing and communications, had the challenging task of selecting the top five tweets. All of the entries were worthy.

On Dec. 3, we announced the top five (and their authors) on Twitter and Facebook and invited ChildFund followers to retweet their favorites:

  • Every child has the right to HOPE via @Franswaa
  • The right to know the love of family via @LiveLifeSolid
  • The right to live in an abuse free home via @thebrightspot
  • All children have the right to laugh every day! via @sarahunsicker
  • A child has a right to speak. And be heard via @_jmphotography

All of the finalists were retweeted multiple times. Yet, two frontrunners emerged during the final days of tweeting.

The originators of the top-two tweets will receive an autographed copy of a Margaret Woodson Nea book: “Children: Eyes of the Soul” or “Children: Gifts of the Spirit.”

And all of the Tweeters —finalists or not— have our enduring appreciation for raising awareness of the rights of children.

If you’re not yet following ChildFund on Twitter, please join the conversation.

Change a Childhood: Tweet for Children’s Rights

What rights should children have?

To commemorate today’s 20th anniversary of the Convention on the Rights of the Child, ChildFund is rallying its Twitter followers to speak out for vulnerable and excluded children.

Starting today and running through Dec. 3, all ChildFund followers on Twitter are invited to tweet about a specific right that children require for healthy development.

Each tweet must include the hashtag #childfundcac (change a childhood), and all tweeters must be followers of ChildFund International in order for their tweets to be counted.

Participants may tweet as often as they like, but each tweet must be original.

Examples
• Every child has the right to an education. #childfundcac
• A child should never be forced into exploitative labor. #childfundcac
• Girls have the same rights as boys. #childfundcac
• Children have the right to healthcare. #childfundcac
• Children have a right to express their views and be taken seriously. #childfundcac

Get Inspired
World leaders who ratified the Convention agree that all children have the right to
• survival
• develop to their fullest
• protection from harmful influences, abuse and exploitation
• participate fully in family, cultural and social life.

The Convention has brought into sharp focus the fundamental human dignity of all children and the urgency of ensuring their well-being and development.

ChildFund International works in 31 countries worldwide to help communities uphold the rights of the child and ensure that children can grow and thrive. The Convention is an important legal instrument for our work. It sets an unprecedented global vision and standard for children’s lives worldwide.

Rules – You Gotta Have ’Em
• Multiple original tweets are encouraged from 8 a.m. (EST) Nov. 20 through 11:59 p.m. (EST) Dec. 3.
• An internal panel of judges at ChildFund International selects the top five tweets.
• On Dec. 7 and 8, the top-five tweets will be announced at 8 a.m., noon and 4 p.m. (EST) on ChildFund’s Twitter site, and once per day on Facebook.
• All Twitter followers will be invited to vote on the top-five finalists by simply retweeting their favorite(s). (Hint: spread the word.)
• The retweeting window closes at 4:59 p.m. on Dec. 11 (EST).
• From among the finalists, the two tweets receiving the highest number of retweets (as tracked by the hashtag #childfundcac) will be officially announced on Twitter on Dec. 16.
• Each will receive a ChildFund gift and the gratitude of excluded and vulnerable children around the world.

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