Thursday, November 17, 2011

Social Media in the Service of Children

Eliza Villarino reports on how UNICEF is using social media to help children:

In Mozambique, a 16-year-old girl got pregnant by her teacher. Her school suspended her but did not take any action against the teacher.

UNICEF published the story of Linda (not her real name), as well as what it’s doing to help prevent similar cases of sexual abuse against minors in Mozambique, on its website Oct. 19. If you’re one of the U.N. agency’s 1.2+ million fans on Facebook or its 600,000+ followers on Twitter, you would have received a notification about the article on your Facebook newsfeed or Twitter timeline.

“I hope we will be successful and save all the children from bad people,” says one comment on UNICEF’s Facebook wall post.

But of course, for UNICEF, an organization recognized for its serious pursuit of innovation, there’s more to social media than just disseminating information about its programs. It has, in fact, incorporated social media use in some programs such as Connecting Classrooms and Voices of Youth.

UNICEF is also working on a new communication and public advocacy strategy that, according to Gerrit Beger, will embrace social and civic media as a core element. He also said the organization’s social media guidelines will be released soon.

Source: Devex