6:00 P.M. EST Dec. 2, 2010 | NASHVILLE, Tenn.(UMNS)
Chris Hughes, founder of Facebook, has created a new nonprofit website called “Jumo” whose aim is to, “deepen ties between its users and their favorite causes” as well as to solicit donations. This is a cropped view of the Imagine No Malaria page
on Jumo. A UMNS web-only screenshot.
A new social network for changing the world has just launched, and The United Methodist Church’s Imagine No Malaria campaign has wasted no time in taking advantage of it.
Jumo, created by Facebook founder Chris Hughes, has plenty of potential, said the Rev. Larry Hollon, top executive of United Methodist Communications. The Nashville-based agency coordinates the campaign.
“Jumo will be important because it (offers) another channel for providing information to people interested in preventing deaths caused by malaria,” Hollon said.
“Because it’s a social-media model,” he added, “it means interested persons can go directly to the information, receive real-time updates, follow progress of the effort and maintain an ongoing relationship.
“This is the real value of social media. It enhances and complements particular interests and supports interaction.”
Imagine No Malaria, begun on World Malaria Day last April 25, is a United Methodist movement to eliminate death and suffering from malaria, and part of a global response to fight the disease.
The goal is to raise $75 million to eliminate malaria deaths in Africa by 2015. According to Kevin Armshaw, Imagine No Malaria executive director, the campaign has raised $12 million so far.
A beatable killer
Malaria is a leading killer of children in Africa. Because of the disease, one in five African children dies before age 5. Ninety percent of the 1 million people who die from malaria each year live in sub-Saharan Africa.
Despite those grim statistics, malaria is preventable, treatable — and beatable, say Imagine No Malaria staff.
“We are always looking for new ways to get the word about this effort,” said Rob Naylor, communications coordinator for the initiative. “The more people know about this epidemic and take action to stop it, the more lives we save.
“Being part of the Jumo online community will provide yet another touchpoint for people to get involved in the great work of Imagine No Malaria.”
He pointed out “the potential for Jumo to engage our followers to learn more about Imagine No Malaria, see news stories about the global effort to fight the disease and participate by posting thoughts, comments and even making a life-saving donation to the effort.”
Noting that Jumo is a new platform created specifically for cause-related organizations, he is eager to discover its potential for informing people about Imagine No Malaria.
“As we continue looking for ways to engage folks in meaningful online conversation,” Naylor continued, “we are committed to embracing new ways of communicating.”
Using every channel
Matt Carlisle, founder of BigHeartDesign.com, signed on as one of the first Imagine No Malaria followers on Jumo.
He described himself as “a big advocate” of any church initiative to use social Web tools like Jumo. “It’s a means to reach out to a global audience.
“We would be doing a disservice,” he said, “if we didn’t use the tools (available to us today) to make a difference in the world and share Christ’s message with the world.”
Join the Jumo social network at www.jumo.com, and visit the Imagine No Malaria project page.
*Dunlap-Berg is internal content editor for United Methodist Communications.
News media contact: Barbara Dunlap-Berg, Nashville, Tenn., (615) 742-5489 or email@example.com.