If a picture is worth a thousand words, how many powerful stories can a wall of video screens tell?
Enough to help more than 8300 children whose lives have been torn apart by war, it turns out.
War Child, a Dutch nonprofit that Cisco has supported for ten years with cash and product grants, held a televised event to raise money for its work on June 10. During the show, video reports of children affected by war were shown on a giant 17-by-4-meter “Wall of Friends,” based on Cisco collaboration technology. The Wall of Friends uses the same Cisco technology seen on the “Wall of America” on Jimmy Kimmel Live!
The TV program, “Friends for War Child,” generated enough donations to help 8317 children.
The wall connected the show’s presenters via video with dozens of people simultaneously, creating an atmosphere in which viewers felt personally engaged and experienced a strong connection with the reports from the children and the current situation of children living in war zones.
“We are grateful to Cisco’s leadership and staff for their help and for contributing their expertise,” said Bernard Uyttendaele, director War Child. “This allowed us to reach our people in the field easier and without travel expenses, via a state-of-the-art video system. A fabulous solution we could only dream of. Cisco made that dream come true.”
War Child reaches hundreds of thousands of children affected by war and violence every year. Its programs help children regain their confidence, feel safe, and build positive relationships with other children, their families and others. This helps children become stronger and more resilient. In addition, War Child helps with education and training, social games, information and communication technology (ICT), music, dance, sport.
Cisco and the Cisco Foundation have provided more than US$500,000 to War Child since 2006. One program we have supported is Connect.Teaching, an online teacher professional development program designed to improve children’s learning in South Sudan – one of the poorest countries in the world where only 13% of teachers are actually trained in the field, according to War Child.