WaterAid launches '360-degree digital experience' to help raise £2m

Its interactive site, Access Denied to Clean Water, introduces users to a single family in Madagascar, who discuss their lives as they collect water, prepare food and talk about school

Juliette carrying a sack of wood on her head, Manjakandriana, Madagascar (Photograph: WaterAid/Ernest Randriarimalala)
Juliette carrying a sack of wood on her head, Manjakandriana, Madagascar (Photograph: WaterAid/Ernest Randriarimalala)

WaterAid has launched a "360-degree interactive digital experience" as part of a plan to raise £2m this winter.

The charity said the interactive site, Access Denied to Clean Water, was designed to combat the risk that donations to charity could be a "very top-down exchange".

It was designed with the tech company Holoscribe and uses virtual reality to introduce potential supporters to a single family in Madagascar.

Viewers can navigate through short films, photographs and text, and follow different members of the family as they discuss their lives and collect water, prepare food and medicine, dig a well and talk about their experiences at school.

The charity said it was the first organisation to incorporate film as a backdrop to the 360-degree experience.

It was unable to provide a figure for how much the project cost because it was part of a wider arrangement with Holoscribe.

Geraldine Clermont, a WaterAid film producer who led on this project, said: "Too often the act of giving can feel like a very top-down exchange, in which supporters feel compelled to donate to a cause without actually knowing where their money is going and how it is being used.

"This platform turns that on its head, offering supporters the opportunity to see where their money is going and meet the people it will directly help while enabling the communities where WaterAid works to tell their own stories, in their own words.

"It is an innovative and empowering platform, which will help to change the future of fundraising while at the same time telling a more complete story."

WaterAid said the fundraising programme would help the charity to bring clean water to 12,000 people in the district of Manjakandriana in Madagascar, as well as thousands more people around the world.

Almost 12 million people in Madagascar live without clean water, according to the charity.

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