Vodacom responds to UN call for Somalia aid
South African mobile operator Vodacom today responded to the United Nations call to the world to help save lives in Somalia by pledging R500 000 for the famine-stricken country.
At the beginning of the month, Vodacom created a mobile donations platform to enable its customer base in South Africa to help raise funds for Somalia. It also pledged to match the donations made by its customers and to waive all costs associated with text-based giving.
By this morning, mobile customers had donated R100 000 and Vodacom pledged a further R400 000. The fund, called Relief for Somalia, will continue to be active until 30 September 2011.
"We could not just sit back and ignore this unfolding tragedy," says Pieter Uys, Vodacom Group CEO. "The generosity and support shown by our customers is humbling and we hope that they will continue to support the fund in the coming months. We know that our customers, like us and the rest of the world, are deeply disturbed by the situation in Somalia and we are pleased that together, we have been able to use mobile technology for social good."
The funds are earmarked for handover to the South African Red Cross Society (SARCS) who, through its Federation partners in North Africa, will purchase food, hygiene packs and purification tablets for those affected in Somalia.
"People across Somalia are in serious need of relief and we are grateful to Vodacom and its customers for creating and supporting the Relief for Somalia fund. It will ensure that affected people in all parts of the country have access to essential relief and will make a real difference," says Mandisa Kalako Williams, Secretary General of SARCS.
This is the first famine declared by the United Nations this century.
Vodacom will keep the Relief for Somalia donation fund open until 30 September 2011. Vodacom customers can donate up to R200, in multiples of R5, via SMS line 38207.
As Vodacom has waived costs related to text-based donations, the entire sum raised will be handed over to the SARCS.
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