“This is the story of what can happen when the power of social media is leveraged for something good,” said popular YouTuber and Filmmaker Casey Neistat in a recent video explaining how prominent social media artists and celebrities can harness their social media status and popularity to bring about a good change.
It all started when French Vine and Snapchat star Jérôme Jarre published a video on his twitter profile, citing the plight of 6 million people in Somalia who are going through a catastrophic hunger crisis. The video went viral and attracted the attention of numerous other celebrities including popular Hollywood star Ben Stiller and social media icon Juanpa Zurita who urged the popular aviation group Turkish Airlines to take action. After just a couple of hours, Turkish Airlines responded by pledging to make available a full cargo flight with room for 60 tons of food. The airline also said it would allow the group to ship food containers on its commercial aircraft to Somalia until the country’s hunger crisis has ended.
After this the group launched a crowd funding page, hoping to raise $1 million in 10 days. The target was miraculously achieved just 19 hours after the campaign went live. Donations are still rolling in and are being collected through Stiller’s charity, The Stiller Foundation, and the American Refugee Committee is coordinating with the food distribution on the ground. “We’ve proved how much our power doesn’t mean much individually, but has the potential to move mountains (AIRPLANES!!!) When we UNITE!” the Turkish airlines group, which is the only commercial carrier to service Mogadishu airport, wrote in an official statement. “We’re committed to making sure Somalia has the relief they need.”
THIS ARTICLE WAS ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE OPTIMIST CITIZEN – ISSUE 21 DATED 24 APR ’17. GET EXCLUSIVE EARLY ACCESS TO THE STORIES, SUBSCRIBE NOW.
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