FIELDCRAFT STUDIOS | Live storytelling in Uganda using WhatsApp


Live storytelling in Uganda using WhatsApp


#FirstBreath fundraising campaign – storytelling from Uganda

VSO approached us to produce compelling content for their Christmas fundraising campaign.

They wanted to focus on the life-saving work of VSO volunteer Gerieke Zandberg, a paediatric nurse working in a neo-natal unit in Uganda.

With little to no equipment at the hospital in Uganda Gerieke was improvising on a daily basis and finding ways to save premature babies’ lives.

Using Whats App to produce remote reportage

Fieldcraft Studios Strategy

VSO have a compelling proposition. They send volunteers to work in-situ both using their skills to save lives and training local staff thus leaving a lasting legacy of knowledge.

We wanted the audience to experience the highs and lows of Gerieke’s working week. We wanted to create a more visceral experience for a social media audience and enable them to walk alongside Gerieke and to meet the babies’ and families that she helped.

The campaign call to action was to compell the audience to donate towards new equipment so we needed to ensure that our stories clearly demonstrated the need in a compelling way.

Our creative concept was to produce an animated weekly diary using Gerieke’s own words and based on the real lives of mums and babaies that she had been saving.

The audience heard how Gerike had to improvise oxygen delivery with a plastic bottle and how she battled every day with the lack of equipement to resuscitate pre-mature babies.

It was important that the style of the animation was designed to catch the audiences’ attention in a busy social media style.

Week One: Live from Uganda.

Creating Content

Telephone connection with Uganda can be problematic. We solved this by using WhatsApp to communicate with Gerieke in Uganda.

For six weeks we interviewed Gerike at the end of her working week then choosing one key story to focus on.

We then produced an audio recording of Gerieke’s telling our chosen story. We used WhatsApp to record and send and receive the audio.

We wanted the content to stand out, look very different in a crowded Facebook timeline so we animated the story in a striking black and white style.

Facebook Social Adverts

We also produced a series of three Facebook canvas adverts for this VSO campaign.

We wanted to give the audience an insight into what it would be like to be a mother with a premature or sick baby.

Facebook Canvas is a mobile only, instant-loading experience that allows the audience to interact with the content.

You can watch engaging videos, swipe through carousels and tilt to pan images to explore them.

One of the key challenges with international development issues is to get the audience to engage with the story in the first place. We specifically designed these adverts to draw the viewer in and encourage them to take part.

Our first Canvas advert focused on Gerieke’s work. To begin the experience you follow her through the doors of the premature baby ward as she invites you onto the ward.

The second focused on the importance of skills training and we join Gereike as she does a ward round.

And the final Facebook canvas tells Janet’s story. She had a difficult birth and her baby wasn’t breathing. But thanks to VSO she was able to bring her baby home for Christmas.

Live from Uganda

Week Two
Week Three
Week Four
Week Five
Week 6

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