Not-so-fun fact: there are currently 768 million people around the world who do not have access to clean water. This comes from the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), a leading organization that has roots in more than 190 countries, providing clean water and education, health care, and emergency relief services for children in need. UNICEF is “working toward the day when zero children die from preventable causes and every child has a safe and healthy childhood.”
Its latest campaign is called the UNICEF Tap Project, a campaign that gives children around the world access to clean, sanitary water. UNICEF is focusing especially on the Philippines, providing “water kits, water treatment products, portable toilets, and hygiene kits” to those who need them most. This project is in its fifth year and is sponsored by Giorgio Armani Fragrances and UNICEF’S Next Generation.
So, how does it work?
When consumers go to uniceftapproject.org via their smart phones, the online app starts the timer and begins tracking the steadiness and positioning of the phone to be sure that it is not in use. The app’s timer continues to tick as long as it notices that the phone has been set down on something and is not being handled or used. UNICEF then receives funding for every minute that the phone is not being used, through the generosity of its public and private sponsors—people like you and me.
For every 10 minutes someone leaves his or her phone alone, UNICEF receives enough money to provide one day of clean water for a child who needs it. If that’s not the most legitimate reason for putting your phone down, I don’t know what is.
The UNICEF Tap Project will stop being funded on March 31st, so you only have a few more days to make an impact. I’d suggest visiting the site whenever you know you’re going to be without your phone for an extended period of time—perhaps when you have studying, homework, or cleaning to do. It’s a simple way to make a huge contribution to those who are suffering, and it provides you with a solid opportunity to set social media aside and live in the now. Pick up your phone and visit uniceftapproject.org now!
You can also donate amounts up to $100 on the site, using either PayPal or your credit card. And to get more involved in the 2014 Tap Project, complete this Volunteer Registration form.
Project Statistics (from uniceftapproject.org, as of March 27th,)
- 2771 people currently helping kids by not using their phone
- Combined time that people spent helping children in need amounts to 3.9 years
- Record time one person spent helping this week: 17,000 minutes
- Today: 14,000 minutes
- Top city taking action to help: Seoul
- Top state: California
This post was originally published on Tumblr on March 27, 2014.