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September 27, 2011

UN Foundation Launches Mobile App to Raise Awareness, Funds for Global Causes

By Beecher Tuttle, TMCnet Contributor

The United Nations has launched its first ever mobile app aimed at encouraging global citizens to get involved with the key issues that are being undertaken by the world body.

The free app, currently available for download for iOS users, will aggregate tailored news feeds from various UN programs and initiatives. Users can get updates on global issues like children's health, climate change and the empowerment of women and girls, and can personalize their own news feed by selecting specific topics or regions of interest.

“Just as open, social and real-time technologies are changing the UN’s development and disaster relief work, the same technologies are redefining relationships between people and institutions,” UN Under-Secretary-General for Communications and Public Information Kiyo Akasaka noted in a statement.

“Tools such as the UN Foundation's new app are critical to empower citizens to stay informed about the UN’s work, to participate in the global conversation, and to support the push to realize the Millennium Development Goals,” Akasaka added.

While the subject matter discussed in the breaking news articles and social media streams will be of a serious nature, the app also includes a few fun ways to learn about the work being done by the United Nations. Included in the app is an interactive photo-scramble game called “Pieces of Peace,” which is a puzzle game based on photos taken from around the world at UN peace initiatives.

The app is integrated with the UN Foundation's social media channels – including Facebook, Twitter (News - Alert) and YouTube – and offers one-click links to let users share content with their own social network.

Besides creating awareness, the UN hopes to use the app to raise money for various global causes. The software contains a donate button that enables users to text $10 for a specific gift to the needy, such as an anti-malaria bed net for a child in Africa.

The app is available in all six UN languages: English, French, Spanish, Russian, Arabic and Chinese. It will be available on Windows and Android (News - Alert) platforms in the near future. Click here to download the app.

Beecher Tuttle is a TMCnet contributor. He has extensive experience writing and editing for print publications and online news websites. He has specialized in a variety of industries, including health care technology, politics and education. To read more of his articles, please visit his columnist page.

Edited by Jennifer Russell

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