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Unilever partners with PSI and Facebook to launch Waterworks


By The Drum | Editorial

June 22, 2012 | 2 min read

Unilever, through the Unilever Foundation, in partnership with PSI (Population Services International) has announced at the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity the launch of Waterworks, the first Timeline application for charitable giving.

Developed jointly with Facebook, Waterworks is a non-for-profit programme that will bring clean and safe drinking water to communities around the world. Operating through the ground-breaking Timeline application it will connect people with means directly with those people and communities in need.

Keith Weed, Unilever’s chief marketing officer, explains, “At Unilever, we believe that small, everyday actions can add up to a big difference; and the power of social connections can drive real change around the world.

The app will connect Facebook users with a Waterworker – a real individual in a community where there is a need for clean water. The Waterworker will be trained by PSI and the user chooses a small daily donation – as little as 8p – the donations then go to the Waterworkers to help provide clean water in their community.

Waterworkers have also been given a mobile phone to post updates of their progress to their Facebooks supporters, these updates will get posted to users timelines via open-graph.

Karl Hoffman, president and CEO of PSI, said “Our Waterworkers will be women from the communities in which they will work – mothers, sisters, friends and aunts…through participation in Waterworks they will not only gain a steady income but also receive training on communication techniques and local health issues as well as access to clean water for their own families.”

The Waterworkers app, developed by Betapond, is ‘social by design’ and aims to make charitable giving more social, personal and relevant. It is also the first to use the new Facebook subscriptions payment method which was announced this week.

“Through Waterworkers, the Unilever Foundation is showing that the right combination of people and technology can lead to social solutions,” said Joanna Sheilds, VP and managing director, EMEA at Facebook, said, “Unilever is a fantastic, highly innovative partner and we’re excited to help them continue to build their presence on Facebook…Unilever understands that when people are given the platform to share their experiences and affect change, amazing things can happen.”


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