Turkish airlines answers the call to help Somalia
By Shereen Shabnam
When it comes to philanthropy, people tend to focus on issues close to their heart or home and often ignore the plea of help form far flung places that does not concern them. Despite this norm, there are still individuals and corporate organisations that respond to the call for help and support the needy with actions that matter and make a difference. Below is a heartwarming story that made me have faith in humanity again.
We all know from news channels that with drought and famine, diseases such as cholera and measles have started to spread throughout communities in Somalia. Calling for help, Jerome Jarre, a French social media star with 1.3 million followers on Twitter, drew attention to the hunger and drought in Somalia with his video, viewed over 2.5 million times, with the hashtag #TurkishAirlinesHelpSomalia.
In response, Turkish Airlines recently carried over 60 tons of food aid and medical supplies to Somalia’s capital, Mogadishu as a part of a global aid campaign. As the only airline that flies to Somalia, Turkish Airlines used their global network and reputation for hospitality to help the people of Somalia where over 6 million people required food and assistance.
Jerome and five of his friends from New York created content with the hashtag #TurkishAirlinesHelpSomalia, and then #LoveArmyforSomalia. The team of six had a network of more than 10 million followers and a primary purpose to raise social awareness globally, with their supporters snowballing in a few days to generate 1.3 billion potential views around the world.
Following this call for action, high-profile Twitter accounts including Hollywood star Ben Stiller added their voices to the call for Turkish Airlines to support this campaign.
Within two days of the start of the #TurkishAirlinesHelpSomalia hashtag – Turkish Airlines granted official consent for carriage of 200-tonns of aid over 6 months, and transportation of the first 60-ton aid by a cargo flight dedicated to this campaign, which was announced via video captioned “Ready for take-off to help Somalia” on the Airline’s official Twitter and Facebook accounts.
The plane used to carry the aid, inscribed with the campaign’s twitter hashtag #LoveArmyForSomalia, was donated by Turkish Airlines.
Following Turkish Airlines’ commitment to fly aid to Somalia, the social media stars launched a financial support campaign on “gofundme.com” to raise funds for the basic needs. With the goal of $2 million USD, the campaign has raised $1.8 million USD from 66,000 donors in just three days.
This humanitarian aid campaign, which was started purely through social media channels has significantly contributed towards the well-being of the people of Somalia by reaching millions of people in just a few days.
As a global carrier and Turkish brand, Turkish Airlines takes pride in being the airline that flies to the most countries in the world, and that delivers an experience deeply-rooted in the legendary hospitality for which the nation is known.