We created heat-monitoring devices and fixed them to refugee tents across camps in different countries. The devices automatically tweet personal messages from the refugees along with the temperature in the tent, three times a day. The messages then appear on Twitter at #tweetforheat and on the website www.tweetforheat.com. Through the website, users can donate to save lives and see the warmth effect of the donations, retweet refugees’ messages to spread more awareness, view the temperatures in each of the refugee camps in different countries, and watch the refugees’ stories and routines of their daily lives. Technology can save lives.
Within less than a month, total tweets increased to 38,000+; donations reached $633,000; 5,275 refugees are saved, and the warmth continues.
So many campaigns have been tackling the Syrian refugee crisis, but none of them reflected the real living conditions the refugees endure in winter. The world was aware of their plight, but awareness alone does not save lives, and donations are still insufficient. So, to raise more awareness and encourage further donations that could keep the refugees warm in a bitter winter, we had to bring people closer to the reality of life in the camps. We had to amplify the refugees’ voices throughout the world. Alwaleed Philanthropies, in collaboration with UNHCR, launched Tweet for Heat to immediately reach out to an ever-growing online and Twitter audience.