As part of our own CSR programme we’ve been supporting the Friends of Ibba Girls School (FIGS) for the past four years, and working with design agency Totality, we’ve recently launched a new, high-profile campaign: Pencil Power. FIGS is a UK based charity that exists to raise funds to build and maintain a school for girls in Ibba, South Sudan.
Pencil Power uses the pencil – the simplest tool for writing and learning – as the symbol for the power and promise of education. We understand the importance of girls’ education and want to help the girls of South Sudan to benefit, by using our expertise in PR and social media to spread the message and raise awareness.
Education provision in South Sudan is very poor and most girls drop out of school by the age of 10. A 14 year old girl in South Sudan is more likely to die in childbirth than complete her education. For these girls, a pencil can spell hope and the chance the build a new life.
As part of the launch and to coincide with the UN International Day of the Girl-Child, we used Thunderclap, a social media tactic that amplifies your message. Red Magazine and High School Musical actress Monique Coleman were among the supporters who signed up and helped us reach 1,408,783 people!
To highlight the importance of the pencil, we’ve also implemented the #pencilportrait campaign, in which supporters take a quirky photo holding a pencil, post it to social media and donate £5 in the process by texting PENCIL to 70660. So far we’ve received hundreds of #pencilportraits including those from comedian Harry Enfield, Baroness Caroline Cox and Stephen Fry!
You can also watch a film about Pencil Power on YouTube – it’s a great way of understanding what is being achieved and what needs to happen next: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ne6mUY5swHc