Social Media

Social Media Star has a ‘Crazy Idea’ to help Somalia

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Written by Kamil Arli

The npr.org columnist NATALIE JACEWICZ published an article on the viral social media campaign to fight the looming famine in Somalia.

A viral social media campaign to fight the looming famine in Somalia has already raised more than $2 million. The goal is to send 60 tons of food to the country. But as the campaign has unfolded, it’s become clear that it’s still a work in progress. With the distribution set for March 27, some critical details are changing or not yet available.

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THE INLIKELY MAN BEHIND THE PLAN OS FRENCH SOCIAL MEDIA CELEBRITY JARRE

The unlikely man behind the plan is French social media celebrity Jerome Jarre (who had 8 million followers on Vine and is now on Snapchat). In a video he posted on social media platforms on March 15, he says he got the idea for the campaign after a volunteer in Somalia called him on the phone to recount watching a 6-year-old girl die from dehydration.

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As he put it, “The movement started with a crazy idea, what if we could convince Turkish Airlines to let us use one of their flights to Somalia? And fill it with food!”

Jarre challenged viewers to post on social media with #TurkishAirlinesHelpSomalia to lobby Turkish Airlines, the only commercial airline he could find that flies to Somalia, to donate a cargo plane for a onetime food delivery.

THE CAMPAIGN BEGAN TO ATTRACT OTHER CELEBRITIES

The campaign began to attract other celebrities, including actor Ben Stiller and former 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick, who boosted publicity and donated their own money. Along with Jerome, they formed a crowd-funded campaign on GoFundMe and called it “Love Army For Somalia.” Stiller’s foundation is accepting donations for the cause so they are tax deductible.

Filmmaker Casey Niestat created a video to document the money-raising efforts, which was published on March 17 and is now at 3 million pageviews and still trending.

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About the author

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Kamil Arli

Editor of DigitalReview.co. Digital Media Consultant

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