New online campaign to encourage blood donations during Ramadan

Initiative addresses the dip in blood donations during Ramadan and the summer months

Dawood Bohra community members donating blood at a blood donation camp in the Holy month of Ramadan in support of UAE government’s Year Of Giving initiative at Bohra masjid on Monday night. Photo:

Dubai: A new campaign launched on Thursday and running across the Middle East and North Africa aims to increase blood donations throughout Ramadan. The ‘Giving is in your blood’ campaign was launched as part of Facebook’s Hack for Good initiative that aims to develop technological solutions to address real social challenges. It is the result of a partnership between Facebook and the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC).

In a celebration of young creative talent in the region, Facebook invited five teams of young professionals from creative agencies across Mena to spend an entire day at the Facebook Mena HQ brainstorming and preparing their proposed ideas. The teams then presented their campaigns to address the IFRC’s goal to boost blood donations during Ramadan to a panel of judges including key regional executives from Facebook and the IFRC. A team from Leo Burnett Beirut emerged victorious, and are working together with Ahmad Younus, Creative Shop Lead Mena at Facebook, to bring their idea to life in the first week of Ramadan.

Ramadan and the summer months tend to result in a dip in blood donations, with those who fast and can donate only after ending their fast at sunset, combined with many travelling for the summer. Blood banks often are in short supply, creating a need to foster more voluntary blood donations. To urge more to donate their blood during Ramadan, ‘Giving is in your blood’ aims to direct people to give blood at the authorised blood donating centres to step up blood donation during the summer season when a shortfall is expected. This drive will give people the power to build more powerful and meaningful communities.

“We are proud to collaborate with the IFRC and Leo Burnett Beirut to empower our 172 million Facebook users in the region to contribute to ‘Giving is in your blood’ campaign and we look forward to seeing its positive impact on communities,” said Christine Harb, regional head of marketing — Mena, Facebook.

Rana Sidani Cassou, head of communications IFRC Mena, explained that while blood saves lives, a lack of blood can mean the opposite.

“Across the region, National Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies are part of the advocacy for the collection of voluntary unpaid blood donations. We hope this campaign will help fill the gap in blood donations that we normally see during Ramadan,” she said.

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