If you agree, please do these three things right now.

1. Click on the image below.

2. Select “Akvo”.

3. Click “Vote”.


If you’re not sure, read on…

Why we love Twestival

Twestival is great. The last series of global events for people who love Twitter helped us get together with some amazing new people and great organisations like charity:water and Live Earth. Thomas Bjelkeman, our founder, spoke at the Stockholm event and I was waving my arms via the London event’s blog, when I wrote that “Tweeting for water can reduce poverty, fast”.

Twestival globally raised over $250k in January through tickets to its events and all that money went to water projects. Now each event is deciding what it should go to this time. We think it should stay with water. And we think it can raise much more.

Why the project you’d be funding is amazing

Providing access to safe drinking water is the fastest way to help lift people out of poverty, bar none. By voting, you’ll be driving funds to this project to provide safe drinking water and empower women in Gimbichu Woreda in Ethiopia. Even better, each Krone, Euro or dollar raised by Twestival for this project will be matched with one dollar from our partner Aqua 4 All. Below is a video about the project, filmed by Tibebe Tamirat, one of our local roving reporters from Africa Interactive.

Anyone involved in Twestival can embed an Akvo project campaigning widget in their own blog or website, to help raise funds and share project progress online as it happens. Click on the image below to do that right now. We’ll track any donations via PayPal and make sure they’re associated with Twestival.


If you see the potential of these widgets, tell us more. We want to help inspire a whole new generation of online campaigners, who build communities who are passionate about driving funds to real projects, where they can follow progress and share storylines. Eventually we want to develop all kinds of widgets for different applications.

Why Stockholm is cool

One third of Akvo’s team is Swedish and its the place where the majority of our open source programming is done. Thomas, our founder lives with his wife in a fabulous yellow wooden house in the woods near Rotebro. Those who attended Stockholm Twestival last year may remember Thomas presenting Akvo at the party (here’s his video afterwards). Stockholm is also where Akvo was born – a debate at World Water Week 2006, which inspired Thomas and Jeroen to create a completely new kind of organisation that would build open source software tools to tackle poverty by sharing knowledge, matching funds to projects and making progress visible online. Akvo’s role at World Water Week continues to evolve. This year we’ll be broadcasting video interviews from Stockholm World Water Week’s pioneering new online video studio, the Stockholm World Water Cube. We’d love to have Twestival supporters join us in our studio to do interviews, meet people and get involved.

So go on, Twestival Stockholm. Stick to water. Help us make real change happen. Vote for Akvo. If any other Twestivals want to fund Akvo projects, get in touch with me. We can make that happen.

Technical point: The Twtvote tool means we need as many people to vote from different locations as possible. 10 people all voting via one internet connection only counts as one vote. So spread out and help us out. The deadline is Saturday 1 August

Mark Charmer’s a co-founder of Akvo.