Digital communications put the people of Tombohuaun, in the jungle of Sierra Leone, at the heart of WaterAid’s most ambitious fundraising campaign to date. The strategy directly connected people in the UK to the village and proved key to WaterAid raising £8.4 million and alerting hundreds of thousands of people to its global goal of making clean water available to even the most remote places, releasing untapped potential and breaking the cycle of poverty.
“Brilliant use of personal storytelling and new technology to provide experience and outstanding results,” said judge Beth Andlaw.
Against a target of £3.9 million they generated £4.2 million which was doubled to £8.4 by the UK government.
A dedicated website included a 360 degree view of the village, while villagers were directly in touch through Instagram and a Facebook chatbot. YouTube tutorials even allowed the people of Tombohuaun to pass on dancing skills and recipes. Adverts on television, in cinemas, on taxis and escalator panels were also used to support the campaign, as was direct mailing.
People in the UK were transported to the village of Tombohuaun, not as saviours or observers, but as equals and friends. The market-leading digital experience was seen 500 million times.