What you can do even in the smallest and simplest ways will make a big difference in somebody else’s lives. With the rise and power of social media, these help however minute or big they are, could spell relief and encourage other people to go on with their lives. Those simple blog articles, short tweets, shared photos, and viral posts can make a big difference and this is why Habitat for Humanity Philippines acknowledges the fact that social media has been a great help especially in disaster related events.
Worldwide users of Facebook already reached a whopping 1.15 billion and more than 550 million registered Twitter users have been recorded. 72% of all Internet users are on the social media’s networking sites and in the Philippines, there are 41 million Internet users, 30 million of which are on social media.
Last year was a trying times for the country with calamities and disasters happening almost after the other. The most recent disasters pounded hard on Bohol, Cebu provinces, and Tacloban, heavily damaged by strong earthquakes and typhoon called “Yolanda.” Habitat was there and quickly responded and aid victims with emergency shelter and repair kits distributed, school classrooms built, pump boats and clean up kits distributed, built core houses, and other help that would help in sustaining and improving the lives of the families caught in these disasters. Social media was also there to give a lending power in distributing and spreading critical information to make these help reach their destinations the fastest they can.
And this month of August, Habitat held the first-ever Social Media Circle that gathered Metro Manila’s social media influencers – respected bloggers, celebrities/personalities with strong Facebook and Twitter presence, and members of online communities from various interest groups whoa re willing to help spread the word abut Habitat and its work. Habitat addressed them as Habitat Online Champion – a title reserved for those who are up for the challenge and journey of using their influence and network to spread the word about Habitat, its program and advocacy.
The first batch of the Social Media Circle came from Manila and the next goal of Habitat is to tap social media influencers from Visayas and Mindanao. Juan Manila Express is honored and blessed to be part of the first ever Habitat Online Champion. This initiative is recognized across the globe and will be emulated by Habitat for Humanity in neighboring countries.
This call to action was first pressed by Charlie Ayco, President and CEO, Habitat for Humanity Philippines, to preserve the people’s nature in helping others and to remind always that there are families affected by these disasters, whether it happened twenty years back or just a month ago. There are still families and children who lost their homes and were not able to go back to school at this very moment. And this is why Mr. Ayco wanted the support from social media.
Though the idea stemmed from a simple conversation, the Social Media Circle Habitat Online Champion is a challenging commitment to inspire other people and prospect of engaging more volunteers, donors, and advocates through this support group. Thanks to Alex Dizon, who is part of Habitat’s social media team and also a food and travel blogger, for bringing this to the world of blogosphere.
Tonipet Gaba, also known as Kuya Tonipet of the popular POPTALK helped in organizing the first-ever Social Media Circle event which was held at Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf located at the newly built Century Mall in Makati. Former child actor Chuckie Dreyfus and wife Yen were also present during the gathering.
This event was almost a simple celebration of Mr. Ayco, who celebrated his nth birthday a couple of days back.
To those who want to be part of the Social Media Circle, visit www.habitat.org.ph. And if you want to help raise funds to build more homes for families in need of decent shelter, simply visit www.give2habitat.org and sign-up to begin your own online fundraising page.
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