Katrina helps UN launch campaign

TO say being based in London working as a social media adviser for United Nations Volunteers, is Katrina Robson’s dream job, is no understatement.

The 25-year-old from Sawtell had always wanted to work with the UN ‘because I believe it makes a difference to people’s lives’.

Home briefly for a family wedding, Ms Robson was still buzzing from the recent launch of a new social media campaign, Share the Story.

The project aims to provide a platform for UN volunteers to talk to each other as well as opening a discussion about how volunteerism can tip the balance towards meeting the Millennium Development Goals set by world leaders in 2000.

Within a day of its launch the UNV Facebook page was visited by 3000 people, all of whom registered their interest in ending poverty.

“The response was phenomenal – we were so nervous before but it has been like opening a Pandora’s Box, the idea has just taken off,” Ms Robson said.

“Social media is such a powerful way of connecting people – not only our volunteers around the world, but also other volunteers. The deadline for meeting the goals is 2015 – we are optimistic.”

Last weekend the page hosted a 24- hour film festival with 12 films created by volunteers showcasing their work.

“We started in Fiji and circled the time zones of the world on a two hour cycle.

“There was an interactive map so you could see where the videos were screening.”

The program included a video filmed by Ms Robson about English volunteer, Summer Johansson, who runs ‘Respect University’ offering online support to students in Afghanistan and Uganda.

“On the day of the festival there were 396,181 post views – we were so happy.”

Ms Robson said the number of online volunteers (9000) with the UN now outnumbers traditional field volunteers.

To join the discussion go to www.facebook.com/unvolunteers

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