Your campus, Your story
Within the past few months, a lot of my friends have been posting on social networks or talking in person about the UNICEF Tap Project. I’ve also seen ads for it pop-up on the side of my Facebook. I took the bait and decided to check it out for myself.
The UNICEF Tap Project is a nationwide campaign that provides clean water and adequate sanitation to children around the world.
UNICEF receives a lot of its money from sponsors, such as Giorgio Armani, MediaVest, and UNICEF’S Next Generation, but there are three ways everyone else can help support the campaign. The first is simply to donate.
By donating just $5, clean water is provided for 200 days to children in need. The second way to support UNICEF is to volunteer at work, school, or among friends in order to raise awareness about water-related issues. The third, and in my opinion, easiest way to support the UNICEF Tap Project, was the through the time donations.
I used to love time donations because it was easy to use, and I knew my time and ability to put my phone down went to a good cause. By either using the free app, or visiting uniceftapproject.org on my phone’s browser, I could click the “begin” button and watch as I helped children in need. How exactly does it work?
Once you click “begin” you have to set your phone down and not touch or move it for at least 10 minutes. By giving up something that you certainly can go without, you help give kids something they cannot live without, and that’s water.
Too many people are obsessed with their phones and tablets so I loved the idea of the UNICEF Tap Project. There seems to be this odd thought that we can no longer live without technology. By going without your phone for just 10 minutes, you can provide clean water to a child for an entire day. UNICEF’s sponsors donate the money for clean water based on how many increments of 10 minutes you can go without something far less vital than water — your cell phone.
While I enjoyed using the website in my phone’s browser when I was at home, I realized it was a great thing to do in school, too. I obviously shouldn’t use my phone during work or class, so I would put my phone on silent, turn on the time donation, and put my phone under my desk so I wasn’t tempted to grab it. By doing this, I was able to help children who needed clean water and to help myself pay more attention in class.
The time donation had a sensor that could tell if you moved your phone during the 10-minute durations. If you touched your phone, you had 10 seconds to place it on a flat surface and keep it still. The time donation would continue if you managed to set your phone down. If you didn’t, the time donation would end. During the time you weren’t touching your phone, interesting facts would pop-up, like how many selfies had been tagged on Instagram since you began the timer. I’m not kidding when I say thousands of selfies are tagged every minute.
Unfortunately, the time donations are currently inactive so you can’t support the UNICEF Tap Project without becoming a volunteer or just donating money. I find this really unfortunate because I thought it was a great way to encourage people to stop relying so heavily on technology. By giving up my phone for just 10 minutes, I was not only able to help children who are way more in need of water than I am my cell phone, but I was also able to focus more on school, work, and my friends and family. I liked that it gave people a reason to reignite relationships in-person.
I always had mixed opinions about the UNICEF Tap Project app because it seemed a little silly that someone would spend so much money making an app, when they could have just donated the money to begin with. Still, I liked that the app gave people a way to help others in need without having to give cash right from their pocket. I always felt like I was able to make just a small difference by going without my cellphone — something that shouldn’t be difficult to do in the first place. I really hope time donations are turned on again so more people can help support this wonderful campaign.
For more information on the UNICEF Tap Project and how it’s helping people worldwide, visit tap.unicef.org.
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