Actor Ben Stiller has teamed up with social media superstar Jérôme Jarre - and they are doing something so unbelievably amazing, it will make you question why on earth no one thought of it sooner.
The pair (along with a team of others), has arranged for a Turkish Airlines plane to deliver 60 tonnes of food and water to famine-stricken Somalia next week....and they're making it happen through the power of Twitter, Facebook and other social media platforms using the hashtag #LoveArmyForSomalia.
It all started with a brilliant, simple and slightly crazy idea from Jérôme - He had just discovered that there are 20 million people in East Africa who have no food, water or livestock and are dying from starvation. He couldn't understand why the world and particularly the mass media wasn't making a big deal about this, even after the UN had described it as the worst humanitarian crisis since World War II.
He thought, well, why can't we send a plane over there and give people the food and water they so desperately need? So he made this viral video, hoping to do just that:
After doing a bit of research and finding Turkish Airlines is the only airline that flies to Somalia, Jérôme started the hashtag #TurkishAirwaysHelpSomalia . A few hours later, it seemed everyone was tweeting it, including Ben Stiller. And a few hours after that, success! Turkish Airlines responded with a tweet:
Turkish Airlines will provide a cargo flight to Somalia on March 27. It can carry 60 tonnes of supplies. The airline has also agreed to transporting extra food containers on other flights over the coming months until the famine comes to an end.
The challenge now is to fill up the plane. Ben, Jérôme and the gang say the only way that can happen is through donations:
The money will go towards buying rice, nutritional biscuits, porridge and other food items in Istanbul for the first delivery on March 27.
After that, the plan is to buy food from local businesses in Somalia to support the country's economy.
If you'd like to do your bit to help Ben, Jérôme and the gang help our East African neighbours, you can donate HERE.
If you want to raise awareness about this mission, start tweeting #LoveArmyForSomalia.
It took one crazy idea, some celebrity and social media power and talks with NGO's working on the ground in Somalia (all done in less than 48 hours I might add) to make this happen.
We've seen hashtags trending on Twitter before raising awareness for important causes, but this goes one step further. We're seeing action and it's unfolding right in front of us.
Of course, there are critics who say this isn't going to stop the famine in East Africa. This isn't going to save everyone or end the problem forever. No, it might not, but it's a bloody good start.
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