Both Facebook and Google have launched Ebola relief fund-raising campaigns in the past week, calling on their users to donate money to the cause.
And the founder of Facebook is setting a high bar. Before the Facebook button debuted, Mark Zuckerberg donated $25 million of his own money to the relief effort. In a video on his Facebook page he said: “I’m optimistic that together, the Facebook community can help stop Ebola.”
Save the Children CEO Carolyn Miles shares his optimism. Her organization has built Ebola treatment units in Liberia and Sierra Leone and is now setting up systems to support children orphaned by the disease. When Sheryl Sandberg, chief operating officer of Facebook, reached out to Save the Children about a possible collaboration, Miles jumped at the chance.
“The tremendous reach that Facebook has, and the voice that they have, gives us a chance to reach a much bigger audience,” says Miles. “A lot of countries, like the U.S., are just focused on what’s happening here about Ebola. Facebook wants to help us direct the focus back to West Africa.”