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Give up your cell phone for 10 minutes - give a child a day of clean water

Millions of kids are sick or dying for lack of clean drinking water
Millions of kids are sick or dying for lack of clean drinking water
Photo by Uriel Sinai/Getty Images

What an easy way to make a difference. I didn't question the Unicef Tap Project when I saw it in my Utne Reader newsletter, but then once I logged on to the site and watched it for a while, I noticed the phone seemed to remain on for a long time. (See P.S. below.) So I wondered, is this legitimate? Or is it some way to let malware get on my phone?

I've checked a bunch of sources including a Reuters story on the Unicef Tap Project, so now I'm sure that this is program is for real. All you have to do is install the app, log on, then leave your cell phone alone. For every 10 minutes you manage to do that, Giorgio Armani Fragrances and other donors will give money to Unicef.

Every day, an estimated 1,600 children under five die from diarrheal diseases; nearly 90 percent of these deaths are linked to water, sanitation and hygiene.With $1 Unicef can provide a child with access to clean water for 40 days.

"Some of us can't go for more than a few minutes without checking our cell phones. Imagine what it's like to go days—or longer—without safe drinking water," said Caryl Stern, President and CEO of the U.S. Fund for UNICEF. "That's the reality for millions of children around the world who don't have the luxury of just turning on the tap, who have to walk miles to get the nearest water source."

For every ten minutes spent on the UNICEF Tap Project mobile experience, Giorgio Armani Fragrances and other donors will provide the funding equivalent of one day of clean water for a child. Once the cell phone is touched after activating the mobile web app, the site calculates the time spent and impact of the effort. Throughout the process, the app also provides facts about water access and record times set by other users in the same state. Through the site, individuals can donate or sign up as volunteers to support UNICEF's clean water and sanitation programs for children. To view or download a video about this year's campaign, visit:

What a simple way to help change the world.

P.S. Did some more research as this app really kills my phone's battery. Yes, it will drain yours because it doesn't allow the smartphone sleep mode to turn on. You'll see lots of messages on your screen - you can still touch the screen or swipe without deactivating the app - some of which are about how many text messages have been sent since you stopped using your phone, and of course you'll see the Giogio Armani logo. But hey, think of helping a kid somewhere who's desperately thirsty - and who can only dream of having water come out a pipe into the kitchen or bathroom.

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