Admit it: you love a good selfie. It's okay, we do too. We don't judge owners of selfie sticks. We celebrate them, along with the inventors of the self-timer. We believe that there should be a national holiday celebrating the geniuses behind VSCOcam filters. Like you, we think witty hashtags and captions are the textbook definition of the finer things in life. You're probably dreaming of a world where you can use your selfie to help end the injustice facing children with disabilities in Africa, right?
GOOD NEWS: We're one step ahead and have already sorted out the kinks for you to make it possible -- consider us the Apple of non-profits, rather than making you take the Microsoft route of figuring it out on your own. We're even here to help you through the process, step by step with a smile on our faces.
1. TAKE A SELFIE
Our great selfie recipe? Natural lighting. Simple clothes. Make sure your teeth are brushed. Smile with your eyes (Thanks, Tyra!).
2. THINK ABOUT THE FACTS
Children with disabilities have an 80% mortality rate by the age of five, largely due to the fact that they are often thrown away at birth.
Children with disabilities have a 10% chance of going to school in the most developed city in Africa.
75% of women with disabilities will report being raped in Africa, not including those who are so vulnerable that they can't report it.
3. BE INSPIRING
Channel your inner Ghandi, Oprah, Nelson Mandela, Mother Theresa or Steve Jobs. Then think about this writing prompt as you caption your selfie: "If you could look a child dealing with these statistics as their reality what would you tell them to encourage them in their current circumstance?"
It can be as simple as: "you're valuable", "You are so precious", "Jesus loves you and so do I"
4. GET YOUR HASHTAG ON
This is our favorite part, too! While we love (and endorse) sentence length hashtags, we also ask that you hashtag your selfie #upholdglobal #liftemup and #unchainthechildren so we can find them! Why? We want to make you famous! You're a part of our movement, and we're going to feature your gorgeous facial features on our social media channels. You're a mouthpiece for hope and change and you inspire us and others!
OKAY...BUT HOW DOES THIS ACTUALLY HELP?
Good question, friend! The "Lift 'Em Up" campaign helps in the following ways:
1. It Raises Awareness: Whether you realize it or not, you're influential. Your voice educates all of those following your social media feeds and empowers them to also be advocates for change. The trending hashtags will also be used on our posts to tell the stories of real children dealing with this injustice and facts that talk about these realities. Think of yourself as a big flashing arrow sign for this cause.
2. It Inspires others: It's scary to think about tackling this huge issue on our own, so it's a good thing we don't have to. We're in this together, and by partaking in a simple awareness campaign you help us extend the invitation to others to join the movement.
3. IT WILL ACTUALLY REACH THE CHILDREN: We're going to be collecting these photos for the next year while working with our photographers and designers to turn YOUR statements and faces into a book of inspiration to give to our partnership organizations in Africa. Our goal for these books is to offer hope, to show these organizations that they have an army of people all around the world who love them, believe in them and are cheering them on...and we encourage them to share your sentiments with the children!
Check out some examples!