WaterAid’s bot, dubbed ‘Talk to Sellu’, is a tool for supporters to immerse themselves in a community deep in the Sierra Leone jungle where there’s no clean water. Sellu, a father, farmer and carpenter, offers users a chance to see life from his perspective through photos, videos, gifs and a nifty 360 tool.
Subscribers are sent updates on the progress of WaterAid’s project installing decent toilets and clean water in Sellu’s community, bringing them closer to the change that donations make happen.
As part of their #Untapped fundraising appeal, which invited supporters into the world of villagers getting clean water for the first time in Tombohuaun, Sierra Leone, WaterAid wanted to create a Messenger bot that would connect supporters with the people they were helping.
In doing so WaterAid hoped donors could the see the impact of their donations and the progress being made, strengthen connections to the charity, and lead to repeat donations in future.
The bot uses an immersive, storytelling approach to introduce users to Sellu – a farmer, fisherman, and father of three – living in the remote village of Tombohuaun, the focus community for WaterAid‘s winter fundraising appeal, #Untapped.
Through a series of messages, photos and video content, Sellu takes users on a guided tour of his home, introduces them to his wife Fatu and daughter Nancy, his daily routine and lifestyle, and even teaches you how to say ‘hello’ in the local language, ‘Mende’.
Supporters can see how getting access to clean water is improving the lives of the villagers, get updates on the new water and sanitation infrastructures being built with help from WaterAid and, ultimately, donate towards WaterAid’s Untapped appeal to help bring clean water, decent toilets good hygiene to communities like Sellu’s.
By partnering with The Bot Platform, WaterAid were able to rapidly and successfully create a new direct engagement channel with their supporters.
Dan Gray, WaterAid’s digital engagement manager, said the chatbot was a “powerful tool for awareness” that could encourage donations.