Video Email Launches Childrens AIDS Campaign

Save the Children uses video streaming to launch new HIV campaign

London, June 23, 2004: New media adoption in the charity sector took a step forward today with the launch of video email from Save the Children to introduce its new HIV/AIDS campaign. This is the first time the charity has used video email to ensure the delivery of a hard-hitting, impactful message – highlighting the devastation that HIV/AIDS is causing for millions of children across the globe.

It is also the first time video streaming has been used as the primary launch vehicle for such a high profile charity campaign and the first video shot on location in a project area – in this case Ethiopia – to be delivered to campaigners via video email.

The video features the story of Mamo, a seven year old Ethiopian boy whose parents have both died of AIDS. Supporters of Save the Children are being asked to e-mail the UK Government to ensure they properly address the needs of orphans and vulnerable children like Mamo.

The action has been launched to coincide with the International Aids Conference in Bangkok in July and the imminent launch of the UK Governments International HIV/AIDS strategy.

In addition, the video will also be placed on the Save the Children website, as a pop-up during the initial stage of the campaign.

"Were using video specifically to deliver our message into the homes and offices of UK campaigners because it will have greatest impact if we can actually show how HIV/AIDS is destroying childrens lives and those of their families."

said Claire Walker, Campaigns Co-ordinator for Save the Children.

"The video is deliberately powerful, and we hope this will help to galvanise support and action on behalf of the 14 million HIV/AIDS orphans around the world."

Video streaming, the ability to send video footage across the internet to PCs, laptops and mobile phones, is now recognised as a major communications development in the charity sector, allowing organisations to deliver their message to a mass market, in the most visually striking way.

For its first ever video mail campaign, Save the Children used Forbidden Technologies video compression and streaming services to ensure high quality and cost effective online delivery.

"It is vital that the video footage is seen by the largest possible number of people, without the obstacles normally associated with sending video by email or viewing via a website,"

said Adam Robertson, video producer at Save the Children.

"Forbiddens streaming technology ensures the video email opens with one click – without having to choose and/or download a media player – and can be watched by recipients regardless of whether they are on a corporate network or dial-up internet connection. This is vital as campaigners often receive our e-mails at home, without the benefit of internet broadband."

The HIV/AIDS pandemic has already claimed the lives of over three million children. In countries like Zimbabwe one third of the adult population is living with HIV/AIDS, while global estimates suggest that there could be as many as 28 million children under the age of 15 who are orphaned as a result of the disease by 2010.

"The HIV/AIDS issue must become a priority for the international community,"

Walker continued,

"To generate awareness, understanding and support it is vital that the facts are communicated not just to politicians and campaigners, but also to the general public at large. Video email and online video are tremendously important applications of new media technology and have very important roles to play in helping Save the Children deliver this message."