Paul Sawers was a reporter with The Next Web in various roles from May 2011 to November 2014. Follow Paul on Twitter: @psawers or check h Paul Sawers was a reporter with The Next Web in various roles from May 2011 to November 2014. Follow Paul on Twitter: @psawers or check him out on Google+.
Plan is a global charity that works with children in 50 of the world’s poorest countries to help them build a better future.
The charity’s UK arm has launched an interesting interactive video app for Facebook, which is designed to enable users to empathize with people born in poor countries, and imagine what life would be like if they hadn’t been registered for a birth certificate.
The Plan Your Story application draws on Facebook users’ key information, such as date-of-birth, education history and friends, to create a personalised video storybook so they can see things through the eyes of someone born without a birth certificate.
Think a birth certificate is just a piece of paper?
First up, visit the app and hit ‘connect’ to see your story:
Whilst it pulls in your information, it shows you how many people in the world are being born in real-time, and how many of those won’t have a birth certificate:
It then shows you a birth certificate with your name on it, which disappears and then displays the following message:
Then follows a number of screens which pull in personal information from your profile, such as this school year-book style page with your friends’ profile photos on it, which gradually disappear:
And then at the end, you’re invited to donate £2 to Plan, which has helped register the birth of over 20m girls and get them into education.
Plan teamed up with social media agency, Neoco, to design, shoot and edit the story sequence. “The aim is to put people in the shoes of the millions of girls around the world whose births are not registered,” says Justin Wylie, Head of Business Development at the international children’s organisation Plan UK. “Without a birth certificate, the user sees how key events in their life would change – for example an inability to prove their age could result in being married off whilst they’re still a child, or being denied the right to go to school .”
“We want to bring people into the issue, but we also want to keep it light-hearted,” added Wylie. “What’s unique about this application is that, through Facebook, people can get a real connection to important social development issues.”
The new venture is part of Plan UK’s Because I am a Girl campaign, which fights for the rights of 75m girls worldwide who are not in school. “We’re hoping that this app will really make it easy for people to engage with the campaign and also make a difference for girls in some of the world’s poorest countries,” says Wylie.
For more information on Plan’s work or to make a donation call 0800 526 848 or visit www.plan-uk.org.
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