The Unilever Foundation has launched a microdonation app on Facebook, in partnership with the social network and global health organisation Population Services International (PSI).
The Waterworks app asks Facebook users to partner with a waterworker and donate 10p or more per day through Facebook’s new Facebook Payments scheme. It describes itself as, “first-time-ever open graph application” which has been developed with Facebook to connect donors with the communities that are benefitting, using Facebook Timeline.
Waterworkers will be women who have been trained PSI staff to deliver water purification, using devices donated by Unilever, in their local communities. They will also be given a mobile phone, pre-loaded with a custom app, so that they can up-date their 'partners' on Facebook with what they are doing. These updates will appear in users’ Facebook Timeline and be visible to their friends.
The programme will initially be piloted in Bhopal, India before being rolled out around the world in a few months time.
Donations will be made once a month through the Facebook Payments, scheme that was launched last week, meaning that if a donor signs up to 10p per day they will donate £3 per month from the credit card or PayPal account associated with their Facebook Payments account. Payments are made directly to PSI, which is registered as a not-for-profit organisation in the US, which will then send the money to its team in India to train and pay waterworkers.