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As First Famine of the Century Spreads, World Vision Supporters Launch Global Online Campaign to Make #FamineNoMore

Seattle, August 29, 2011–Supporters and donors of Christian humanitarian organization World Vision today helped launch a social media campaign across the United States and a dozen other nations to increase awareness and raise more funds for the devastating drought in the Horn of Africa. Participants will be invited to skip a meal and donate the sum via text messaging, view and share aid worker videos from the frontlines of the crisis, and pass on their own thoughts using the Twitter hashtag #FamineNoMore and campaign website FamineNoMore.org.

“As we struggle to respond to the worst drought in 60 years, the influence and reach of our Facebook fans, Twitter followers, and blogger friends is greater and more critical than ever before,” said American aid worker Perry Mansfield, currently serving as World Vision’s drought response director in Nairobi.

“As friends ask friends to join the fight, give what they can and keep the conversation alive, we hope to mobilize thousands more people to drive concern and action for the 12 million children and adults stalked by hunger and malnutrition in the Horn of Africa.”

The aid agency, which has more than 634,000 Facebook Fans and 23,000 Twitter followers in the U.S. alone, has reached out to donors, youth activists, church supporters, advocacy networks and child sponsors in the U.S. to join this week’s online campaign. Internationally, supporter networks in Canada, Mexico, the UK, Brazil, Spain, Romania, Ireland, Germany, Australia, New Zealand and beyond have joined in the campaign to spread awareness, raise critically needed funds and stand in solidarity and prayer with the children and families in the Horn of Africa. The campaign runs through 31 August, but organizers hope participants will keep the online conversation going well into September, as famine conditions are spreading in Somalia and the regional hunger crisis shows no immediate signs of easing.

“Simply seeing the images of starving children may not empower people to action,” said Tara Gajadhar, World Vision’s social media manager in the United States. “We want to help people connect to the issue and be able to do something that feels and is substantial – including contributing, sharing information and getting others to do the same. Social networking tools are key to empowering people of all ages to help tackle the first famine of this generation.”

World Vision has appealed for USD$100 million globally to fund its relief response in Somalia, Kenya and Ethiopia, targeting 2.5 million of the most affected, particularly children. The public can participate or make a donation by visiting www.worldvision.org or www.FamineNoMore.org.

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