The response to the appeal has been amazing - over £18,000 has now been donated to the fundraising page at www.justgiving.com/witchchildren
If you missed it, you can watch the whole program again or catch two short clips. The incredibly moving program was broadcast last Tuesday from 9-10pm and you can see in our graph how donations started to fly in even before it had ended – the original target of £10,000 was almost reached that night!
This is a brilliant example of a television appeal working in harmony with online fundraising. There was no mention of the fundraising page address in the program, but it was highlighted on the charity’s website. It shows the importance of signposting appeals on your charity’s website to make it easy for people to give online, even if they find out about you offline.
Following up on the appeal, we asked Gary Foxcroft, Programme Director of UK charity Stepping Stones Nigeria, some questions about the reaction to the film’s broadcast.
So many people have been moved by your film – what were the best and the hardest parts of making it?
The best bit was undoubtedly the resounding success of the child rights rally. I’ve been involved in many other protests over the years but none as successful as this. The hardest bit was actually being followed by a film crew everywhere you went. And watching yourself on the screen really isn’t pleasant I can assure you!
What kind of feedback have you had from people who watched the film?
The feedback has been overwhelmingly positive. Before it came out I was very concerned that we may end up being accused of racism or colonialism. However the response from Nigerians and other Africans has been really lovely and I’m so happy that people see this as a humanitarian issue and not simply one of race.
How have you found using Justgiving?
Fantastic! I’m just so relieved that we managed to set the account with you up in time. The response completely overwhelmed us and Justgiving took a massive weight off our shoulders in terms of making it easy for people to donate and support our work. The whole Justgiving team have been nothing but outstanding in the support that they have given us. A truly top class outfit!
How often are you in touch with the children in the film, and the charity working with them in Nigeria?
I’m in almost daily contact with the guys at CRARN (the Child Rights and Rehabilitation Network) and quite often speak with the children via the loudspeaker on Sam’s phone.
What practical work is Stepping Stones Nigeria doing right now, and what’s planned for the future?
At the moment we are working hard on making sure the film is as widely watched as possible in Nigeria. It’s a great advocacy tool and we feel it is of great importance that as many people get to watch it as possible. We are also planning a large Prevent Abandonment of Children Today Campaign event in Oron (where Mary was rescued from) in December.
As for the future, well the support we have received on the back of the film will allow us to significantly expand the facilities at the CRARN camp, set up a new street child project in Oron next year and carry out a widespread enlightenment campaign. One thing that I am looking forward to working on is producing our own Nollywood film that portrays the actions of exploitative pastors and ends with them being sent to jail. It’s likely to be called “The Real End of the Wicked”!
What’s the best way for people to help Stepping Stones Nigeria at the moment?
Other than donations, we really need people to pressure the UK government and Nigerian government to act to protect these innocent children. There are online petitions to sign, letters to write to key stakeholders, Facebook groups to join. We need to spread the word about what is happening in Akwa Ibom State and exert as much pressure as we can on the policy makers so that we can put an end to the abuse of these children’s rights.
* * * *
That’s fantastic – thanks for taking the time to speak to us Gary, we wish you all the best in your ongoing work and appeals.