Story by Allison Trebacz
Every day 768 million people in the world go about their day without clean water. Of those millions, 1400 will be children who will die of diseases that come from unsafe water.
Since the 90s, UNICEF organization has brought clean water to nearly 2.1 billion people, and today it’s taking advantage of the first world’s dependency on mobile technology.
“I saw a link on Facebook, and I figured it couldn’t hurt,” said Lisa Lerman, a sophomore management major. “It was good incentive to keep my phone away while I was doing homework. It was a nice reward for staying focused.”
A quick Google search for “UNICEF Tap Project” will bring a browser to the challenge it has proposed this year. It has a link on the page to an app that will keep track of how long a user can go without touching their phone and for every 10 minutes spent not touching the phone, UNICEF will be able to provide one day of water to someone in need.
UNICEF’s “Tap Project” has been running since 2007 and has provided water to millions, including residents of South Sudan, Columbia, Central Africa and victims of the typhoons in the Philippines.
UNICEF isn’t the only organization empowering people to change the world with some buttons and a few minutes. Websites and apps have been in existence for several years now ,and they’re changing how people approach charity and donating.
Try the app called “Instead.” Instead will guilt you into trading your latte for a micro-donation to provide water in a third-world country.
If you don’t feel like giving up your coffee and you believe in working out occasionally try “Charity Miles.” It allows you to choose which charity you’ll be running or biking for and donates 10 cents for every mile biked or 25 cents for every mile achieved on foot.
Both of these apps and more are available for iOS and Android in the app stores.
There are also several time-wasting websites that will leave you feeling good about yourself. FreeRice.com allows you to test yourself in a variety of subjects and for every right answer, it will donate 10 grains of rice (which really adds up after an hour).
FreeRice isn’t alone. There are several other sites that reward correct answers to trivia questions with food for the underprivileged and even homeless animals (FreeKibble.com). If you enjoy opening new tabs on your Chrome browser, with a simple extension every new tab will give a penny to Action Against Hunger.
In this new digital age, being a broke and busy college student is no longer an excuse not to do your own small part for the world because the world is coming to you, and you can change it from your desk chair.