UN Refugee Agency Enters Facebook Contest to Win Funds for Displaced in Somalia

Digital Content

The United Nations refugee agency is harnessing the ever expanding world of cyberspace to raise funds, entering a challenge on a Facebook platform that could net $50,000 to help forcibly displaced Somalis.

Under "America's Giving Challenge" on Facebook's Causes application, the organization which inspires most people to donate to their cause over 30 days, regardless of the dollar amount, will receive the top prize of $50,000 - with a second prize worth $25,000 and $10,000 each for those placing third to seventh. The challenge, sponsored by The Case Foundation and Parade magazine, will also be giving out daily prizes.

"We will encourage our supporters on social media to help us raise money for the tens of thousands who have been forced from their homes in Somalia by donating and asking friends, family and colleagues to join in," UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) fund-raising officer Suzanne Tremblay said.

Somalia has been plagued by violence for almost two decades and hundreds of thousands have fled overseas or sought refuge in other parts of their country. Each year, tens of thousands risk their lives by crossing the Gulf of Aden on smugglers' boats to reach Yemen.

UNHCR is asking donors to help displaced Somalis by contributing through its Gimme Shelter Cause on Facebook. This is linked to the Gimme Shelter campaign launched almost a year ago with the help of the United States actor Ben Affleck and the Rolling Stones to raise funds and awareness about the forcibly displaced around the world.

The Gimme Shelter Cause was launched on Facebook earlier this year and has raised almost $60,000 from 135,000 members in the past six months. UNHCR invites all Facebook members to contribute to the Gimme Shelter Cause and help the refugee agency be among the top non-profit causes on its application during October.

UN News