Account for Haiti

Thursday, 4 November 2010

Account for Haiti

Nine months after the earthquake, Haiti is now shelled with another crisis: a cholera outbreak in the western region. More than 300 people have died so far, and aid organizations of all sizes are working to provide rapid support to contain it.

We’re intrigued by the new Red Cross Twitter account, @kwawouj, which was created specifically for this outbreak to send updates in Haitian Creole that direct locals to the resources they need on the ground.

Thanks to the support this weekend from Voila, one of Haiti’s leading wireless communication providers, locals using their service were encouraged to follow @kwawouj’s cholera updates via SMS through our fast follow function. This new feature is the quickest way to begin receiving updates from a Twitter source on your mobile phone without having a Twitter account of your own. Since the launch of @kwawouj, over 1,000 people without accounts have opted to receive important Tweets relevant to this particular crisis through the Fast Follow feature.

It’s wonderful to work with a mobile partner like Voila who is on a similar mission to provide the best tools possible to help strengthen the region through connectivity. We are working to build similar relationships with carriers around the world that have the potential to engage their customers through collaboration.

The Red Cross account is currently in our Promoted Tweets for Good program through Hope140, which gives special ad platform benefits to selected non-profits who are using Twitter for their campaign. Follow @hope140 to stay updated on this type of news and to provide feedback on how Twitter could be used effectively as a force for good.

To see how mobile updates can be used to connect victims with resources, check out information on crisis mapping of the cholera outbreak here.