When Jerome Jarre, a French social media star with 1.3 million Twitter followers (@jeromejarre), learned that Turkish Airlines is the only major airline to send regular flights to Somalia, he started the hashtag #TurkishAirlinesHelpSomalia on Wednesday, March 15 to draw attention to the hunger and drought in Somalia. The response has been overwhelming.
His video has been viewed 2.5 million times, and following this call for action, high-profile Twitter accounts including Hollywood star Ben Stiller added their voices to the call for Turkish Airlines to support this campaign.
The #TurkishAirlinesHelpSomalia campaign was immediately picked up, and within the hour Turkish Airlines contacted Jerome telephonically and got involved in the project with its post “We love Somalia. We got the call for this meaningful flight” on Thursday, March 16 on its local and global Twitter accounts.
Jerome and 5 friends from New York then created content with the hashtag #TurkishAirlinesHelpSomalia, and then #LoveArmyforSomalia. The team of 6 had a network of more than 10 million followers and, with a primary purpose to raise social awareness globally with their supporters, the effort snowballed in a few days to generate 1.3 billion potential views around the world.
On Friday, March 17 – within two days of the start of the #TurkishAirlinesHelpSomalia hashtag -Turkish Airlines granted official consent for carriage of 200-tonns of aid throughout the next 6 months, and transportation of the first 60-ton aid by a cargo flight dedicated to this campaign, which the airline announced via a video captioned “Ready for take-off to help Somalia” on their Twitter and Facebook accounts.
Following Turkish Airlines’ commitment to fly aid to Somalia, the social media stars launched a financial support campaign on “gofundme.com” to raise funds for the basic needs. With the goal of $2 million USD, the campaign raised $1.8 million USD from 66,000 donors in just three days.
Reaching millions of people in just a few days, this humanitarian aid campaign will undoubtedly provide the support so much needed in Somalia.
Watch the Turkish Airlines“Ready for take-off to help Somalia” video here.