UNICEF app challenges people to put down their phones, provides clean water for children

For every 15 minutes that a person doesn’t touch their phone, UNICEF will provide a day of clean water for a child in need.

Photo from UNICEF

For every 15 minutes that a person doesn’t touch their phone, UNICEF will provide a day of clean water for a child in need.

Alice Curran

Water is vital to human growth and life. However a third of the population lacked access to safe water in 2007.

Eight years later, approximately 780 million people still live without clean drinking water. The United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF) is working to change that by using the UNICEF Tap Project.

“I did it for 25 minutes and it wasn’t difficult at all. I knew I was helping people,” my grandfather said.

UNICEF was established in 1946 and the UNICEF Tap Project started in 2007 on World Water Day. The Tap Project challenges people to help children in need by not using their cellphones. For every 15 minutes you don’t touch your phone, sponsors and supporters help provide a day of clean water to children. The goal for this year is to provide 14 million days of safe water.

Many people take clean water for granted in the United States and other developed countries. Lack of water has a huge impact on our society and future. In developing countries, a child dies every 20 seconds from a waterborne illness. Not touching our phones for 15 minutes or more can potentially save a child’s life.

“I would participate in the UNICEF Tap Project because for the journalism project there was nothing to gain. But for this, I could actually save someone’s life,” said freshman Eva Kaganovsky, who participated in a Journalism I project during the fall semester to see how students’ lives would be without technology for a day.

Many young people have taken an interest in the Tap Project. Through social media sites, such as Instagram and Twitter, awareness is quickly being spread. Awareness is also spread through the projects sponsors, including Giorgio Armani, UNICEF’s Next Generation, Swell, MediaVest and Modern Assembly.

Participating in the Tap Project is a great way to give back and is fairly easy. Simply search “UNICEF Tap Project” on your cellphone browser and follow the steps given.

Once you begin, your time spent not touching your phone will be counted. Every 15 minutes a day of safe, clean water will be given to children in need. After you complete however much time you choose, you can challenge your friends and help spread awareness.

Through education, spreading awareness and participating in the Tap Project, clean, safe water can be available for everyone.

“I would participate in the UNICEF Tap Project and I would try to go for 24 hours,” freshman Ani Kocharyan said.