Don’t Touch Your Phone for 10 Minutes, Provide a Day of Clean Drinking Water For a Child In Need

UNICEF recently teamed up with clothing designer Giorgio Armani for the latest campaign in the UNICEF Tap Project, which has been striving to increase access to clean water for children worldwide since 2007.

For this latest scheme, they have created a mobile website app (you don’t have to download anything) that can tell when your phone is not being used. For every 10 minutes you leave your phone alone, Armani will provide a day of clean drinking water to a child in need.

According to UNICEF, 768 million people lack access to safe, clean drinking water, 2.5 billion people live without proper sanitation and 1,400 children die every day from diseases linked directly to unsafe water and lack of basic sanitation.

Millions of children lack clean water. How long could you go without something far less vital… like your phone?

Visit the homepage of the UNICEF Tap Project on your phone and get started!

152 comments

  1. 0

    These companies donate money to the cause either way. What it’s meant to do is cause awareness in the ‘average’ adult or teenager. It’s meant to teach us that ‘first’ world things such as our phones have taken our lives over so much that we can barely make it ten minutes without satisfying that ‘urge’ to check our messages. The charity works in more than 100 countries around the world to improve access to safe water and sanitation facilities in schools and communities and to promote safe hygiene practices…And you guys are too busy with your ‘first’ world gadgets to know anything about the other side, even now all you’re saying is “they have a specific amount they give, even if we don’t participate in the promotion.” and? you’re just looking for ways out not to do anything, because honestly all the points that you guys have raised are pretty much ‘excuses’ “oh they want that extra 5 bucks” and? they aren’t actually forcing you to give them the money, if you want to, go ahead, if you don’t then don’t. See if this was a promotion that benefited you such as “win a free Ipad, or win a all expenses paid holiday. All you have to do is stop checking your phone for ten minutes..” you’d be jumping going “I can do it! I can do it!”

  2. 0
    beachgirl says:

    I rarely comment on something like this, but some of these people! Look, I like my cell as much as the next person but I think that this is a great idea! It’s not a scam to get your money, all they are asking is if you could maybe put your phone down for ten minutes. Could you?? If you don’t want to, that’s fine but don’t hate on those who choose to or this company for doing it. Think about this though: If you won’t put down your phone for someone who needs water, what would make you put it down??

  3. 0
    mm says:

    the only huuuuge disadvantage I see is that I can’t lock my phone while I’m doing that, the timer stops in that case. which means that I’m wasting energy on the display which remains on all the time. not quite environmentally friendly.

  4. 0
    Josh says:

    I think a way to make this better is for companies to donate more when people leave their phones alone during times that they use it most.

    Leaving it on through the night is easy…leaving it alone in the afternoon when you’re actually on your phone is better.

  5. 0
    Ccccc says:

    Yay we’re donating water that will eventually run out and the people will be in the exact same place as before. The “global north” who put down their phones feel good about themselves and Armani gets more advertisement.

    This campaign does nothing to address the root cause of WHY people are going without water. Issues such as world debt, corruption – privilege and disadvantage. Governments should be fixing this issue with healthy public policy and bilateral debt forgiveness.

    Nice idea, but bandaid solution at best.

    1. 0
      mbiyimoh g. ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

      Agreed. Major problems can only be solved with major structural and infrastructural changes. That being said, there isn’t much government will to do those things, and i think the only way to compel them to really do something about it is for as many people as possible to know about the issue. So while you’re right that much more needs to be done, I think at the very least this is a step in the right direction

  6. 0
    BN says:

    I’m posting this to help counteract ignorant replies. Unicef is one of the best non-profits out there if you do the research. Its great that sponsors are funding this project that gets the privileged to put down their electronics, become a smidgen more aware of a very serious problem, and assists getting clean water to needed places.

  7. 0
    Bobby says:

    Its strange how many people are complaining. The fact is that many of us do not have the resources to help out many people. Sure we could give $5 or $10 or even $100 sometimes but these companies can do a whole lot more, and all they ask is a little advertising space on your phone. There’s no such thing as a free lunch and even the big companies are going to make sure they get something out of it too. Us putting their brand on our screen for 10 minutes is their reward. Is it really that wrong?

    1. 0
      Daniel says:

      According to the ad, for every 10 minutes of not using your cell phone you will be effectively giving $0.025 worth of drinking water to someone in need. I wonder how much electricity is used for those 10 minutes living your phone on standby. Them iphones are the thirsty V8′s of the electrical world.
      Cool idea but very inefficient.

      1. 0
        james says:

        i have just left my iphone untouched for ten minutes without even realising and its saved more energy than it would if i was on my facebook or making snap chats and you are saying that this system is inefficient?

      1. 0
        Marc Miller says:

        TNSTAAFL – There’s No Such Thing As A Free Lunch. It’s an economic thing, so maybe that’s where it lost you. The lunch may be “free” to someone in a homeless shelter, but the cost is to them for time to find a job or home; the lunch itself cost money or effort; the facility, the staff, etc. There’s a whole ton of opportunity cost involved. (And if you’ve ever been to one you’d know that you’re subject to “advertising” while you eat – be it a sermon, self-help lecture, or whatnot.)

      2. 0
        Evan says:

        Tony, that is not a free lunch because tax payers are paying for the funding provided to the shelter. The phrase means that someone is always footing the bill. If anything you just proved it right ;)

    2. 0
      Marie says:

      Absolutely right thing to do – every little bit that can be done is a step forward. Also much more positive than complaining, really! I think that if it makes us more aware of the need outside our own world – the better insight & hopefully more engagement.

    3. 0
      anonymoose says:

      What’s wrong is that they need to get something out of it first.

      Clearly they have the water to give out, but they need to be advertised first to do it?

      How about you just give that water to needy people and do it because it’s the right thing to do, not because someone had your page open for 10 mins?

      1. 0
        Rachel says:

        Your missing the point it’s to draw awareness to it and to focus upon the constant use of our cellphones. You can’t do without your phone for 10 minutes, they go without water for days.

    4. 0
      David says:

      They may be giving water/money to people who need it but they’re getting a better deal. Ever see what the app has permission to once you install it? (at least on android) Your contacts, email address, and maybe other sensitive information. Then they can sell it to the highest bidder. An active email account could be worth $20+ alone.

  8. 0
    Jessica says:

    BS! If UNICEF has the effing water they should give it no matter what I do with my GD cell phone….stop making it seem like “we” are keeping ppl from having clean water! It’s a matter of the “powers that be” controlling the worlds resources!

        1. 0
          mbiyimoh g. ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

          haha thanks! i don’t understand how people keep missing that! no matter how good or bad someone thinks the campaign is in terms of fixing the problem, it was successful at least in making them THINK about the problem, and that in itself is a major positive- people who think it’s a terrible idea are thinking about better ways to fix the problem, which i think is awesome! that, plus actually donating the water (regardless as to how they go about it), are two major positive things that no other companies are doing right now. yes, large corporations have a lot of responsibility for the problems of the world, but why we attack ones that are actually doing something (even if they have ulterior motives) is beyond me.

          the most important question to ask yourself in my opinion: would this problem be closer to or further away from a solution if not for this campaign? i think it’s hard to argue the latter..

    1. 0
      Meghan says:

      I don’t think I they are trying to say “we” are keeping clean water from people. It’s just a way to make people aware and get everyone involved. Plus people are on their phones entirely too much it’s good to consciously put it down and walk away from it for ten minutes or longer.

    2. 0
      Heather says:

      It says that Georgio Armani will donate a day of clean drinking water for every 10min someone puts their phone down. Unicef is a charity, they rely on donations.

    3. 0
      Kailskails says:

      @Jessica This is exactly what i was thinking reading this! Obviously they have budgeted in advance for providing this water regardless, it is exploitative that I have to DO something in order for these people to receive the water they need, especially since Armani is sponsoring it for good advertising.

    4. 0
      Rachel says:

      They’ll donate regardless it’s more as point. Most can’t go without cellphones for 10 min while others are going without water something that is needed to actually live. I don’t buy their designer bs but it’s a great point.

  9. 0
    jonah says:

    I have never heard so many self absorbed, whining, rude, misinformed people commenting about not wanting either advertising on their phone, not knowing what/or who does what as far as Unicef, and Armani is concerned- so their complain is invalid in the first place, and/or just plain First World Problems. Shut it. Water. For people. Who don’t have any. A practically FREE way to donate. No- scratch that- a free way to donate. So you have ads on your phone. Like you were shopping around online for a water donation site, and- eww, this one is just not up to snuff. Fucking water. Dying folks. Either help out, or shut it, and get out of the way.

  10. 0
    roxanne says:

    Seriously, we stop using our phones and we save lives!?!? why did we not think of this before..? how about fix the actual problem and give them clean water and stop raping their lands for resources but we can help by not using our phones so we can keep guilt free for using our phones.. dickheads! yeah I agree about awareness but don’t make out people are doing a great thing by not using their phones. We have no control of the water situation, even our water is filled with fluoride and whatever else to keep it ‘clean’. Even our food isn’t fit to eat what shall we stop using for 10 minutes to fix that problem? The whole system is fucked up and what for? fucking money!! fuck people and their health, let’s make money from them! This does not fix anything!!

    1. 0
      Micah says:

      What do you want me to do about raping their lands for resources or the fluoride in our water or the preservatives in our food or the capitalist obsession with gaining money? I don’t have the power to change these things, and, chances are, neither do you. What we do have the power to do, however, is to set our phones down and/or donate. Do what you can and stop complaining that we aren’t fixing the larger problems that we have no power to solve.

  11. 0
    roxanne says:

    4. 50 Cent ransoming children in Somalia

    Just this month, rapper 50 Cent visited Dolow in Somalia at the request of the World Food Programme. The trip was presumably intended to raise awareness of the issues in the way that Angelina Jolie and George Clooney did for Sudan and Oprah did for South Africa. There are quite a few examples of celebrities connecting with Africa actually. There is even a map to keep track of who has “dibs” on what region.

    If the trip was nothing more than Fifty touring hard-hit areas in order to bring the world’s lazy media along, then it would have been useful at best, and benign at worst. But there is more.

    If you Like the Facebook page for his Street King energy drink, he will provide a meal for a child in need. If the page received a million Likes before Sunday, he would donate an additional million meals.

    So let’s break that down.

    1.If you Like Fifty’s Facebook page — without even buying the drink — a child, presumably in Somalia, gets fed.
    2. We can infer that there is a pot of dollars somewhere earmarked for feeding needy children. Two million meals worth of feeding if you count the million Like-meals plus the potential million bonus.
    3.Those meals, while they could be donated, and have presumably been budgeted for, will not be, except to the extent that you give Street King props online.
    That, ladies and gentlemen, is called extortion. Dramatically photographed, concealed-as-humanitarian-activism, extortion. I can feed so very many meals to these starving children, but I won’t unless you give me something.

    The benefit of involving celebrities in foreign aid work is often that it works to focus the attention of their fans and the media machine more generally on understanding, for however brief a moment, something that is happening somewhere in the world. Out of that can come the kind of empathy and activism that makes things like the Save Darfur campaign possible.

    The celebrity’s contribution, though, hinges on whether they can successfully translate attention on them into attention to the issues. When a humanitarian issue becomes a platform for pushing an energy drink on the back of people’s suffering, we should be ashamed.

  12. 0
    Cynthia says:

    I don’t think there is one body of water that’s not full of toxic traces. Even the most pure and clear waters in the most remote areas have been tested and found to have PBA. So, then clean water for children…is almost impossible.
    However not completely impossible. Black Mica, people. Look into it research it.. Then invest in it.

  13. 0
    Hollie says:

    Fail. Apparently after your phone falls asleep, the timer stops. It should have had 3 hours worth of time on there; instead, I woke the phone back up and after the “you have 10 seconds to stop touching your phone to keep the counter going,” the counter only said 1 minute. I decided to just click “finish to see results” and it told me I can do better next time. That’s crap. grrr

  14. 0
    Talia says:

    left my phone alone for 40 min and it drained my battery by half..so I plugged it in, then it refused to work as the act of charging my phone kept resetting the timer.

  15. 0

    The response to this by the world is truly a pathetic display. Its showing the world that working as a community we can do good things. We are loaded too, with kindness to work together as a team and make things happen. I think this is mostly a challenge to see whats more important to the rest of the world 10 mins on candy crush or or 10 mins on silent for a good cause. Its to try and prove that material things are beginning to matter to the human race and not the human race itself. I think I say. CHALLENGE ACCEPTED!

  16. 0

    The response to this by People of the Human race is truly a pathetic sight… This is showing the world that working as a community we can do good things. We are loaded too. With kindness to work together as a team and make things happen. I think this is mostly a challenge to see whats more important to the rest of the world 10 mins on candy crush or or 10 mins on silent for a good cause. Its to try and prove that material things are beginning to matter to the human race and not the human race itself.The response to this challenge itself is “My phone is more important than this cause.” Disgraceful. MERICA! Bet if this was for free stuff for yourselves or for insurance, cars. You would do it gladly. As for this challenge I think I say. CHALLENGE ACCEPTED!

  17. 0
    James says:

    Or, instead of employing an gimmick for your own advertising gain, you could just, I don’t know, write the check and be genuinely generous instead?

  18. 0
    Richie says:

    Just giventhe damn people water! If you really wanna help, just be like “heres the water we have for you.” (Im talking about the company). Dicks.

    1. 0
      mbiyimoh g. ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

      But are they bigger dicks than the companies doing nothing at all? Because that’s the majority of companies.. Yes they have ulterior motives like any corporation but it doesn’t mean that good isn’t being done and awareness isn’t being increased.

  19. 0
    kumashka.ru says:

    Pummp suppliers and manufacturers aim to improve the performance of the environmental protection during the progressive era activated
    sludge process. To be reasonable, there are less and less fish and even other water life,
    thus decreasing water pollution.

  20. 0
    Rochell says:

    When I originally commented I clicked the “Notify me when new comments are added” checkbox and now each time a comment is added I get
    four emails with the same comment. Is there any way you
    can remove people from that service? Appreciate it!

    1. 0
      Katie says:

      Exactly! If he can provide this, and I’m sure he can, why base a desperate person’s access to water on a “put your phone down” game?? I posted this using my phone…should that have equaled a person not getting clean water to drink when a person had the ability to provide it? So strange.

      1. 0
        mbiyimoh g. ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

        Armani pledges a certain amount at the beginning of the campaign and donates that amount either way. The campaign is to raise awareness and give others a chance to donate money as well if they choose to ($5 provides 200 additional days).

    2. 0
      Joey Kurzer says:

      It’s not just about giving X amount of money to help the cause. It’s about spreading awareness about the issue. They could give money in an attempt to put a dent in the problem, or they could let people know and be active in the problem and the solution. When someone asks them why they aren’t looking at their phone they will explain the idea behind the project and hopefully raise awareness about this serious issue.

    3. 0
      mbiyimoh g. ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

      i agree with that but i think part of the idea is to raise awareness about the lack of clean water worldwide- the majority of people aren’t aware how big of an issue it is. thanks for your comment!

    4. 0
      name says:

      The way charity promotions like this usually work is that the company decides how much they are going to spend, then they run the promotion until they reach their goal. Whether people put down their phone has no real impact on the outcome; this is just a way to promote the cause. Even if the amount of water does correlate to how long people put their phones down (I doubt it), it would be because they ran the promotion exactly until the amount was reached that they decided on ahead of time.

      1. 0
        Villa says:

        and the there’s this psychological thing about finally graving your beloved phone, and looking at the results, and feeling good and proud about what you did, and right there and then having the possibility to donate 5 more dollars – and since your are in this state of mind already might as well just do it. My 2 cents.

    5. 0
      Francisco Novo says:

      It doesn´t work that way, you need people to care, you need people to get involve. This are our issues too, our problems too. Regards.

    6. 0

      I’m in the same boat as you. Bribery for all the wrong reasons. We aren’t donating (unless there are hidden fees) and we aren’t providing these people with clean drinking water. “Oh .. we just have to wait ten minutes to see if someone can put their phone down, then you can have a day of clean drinking water”… good god.

        1. 0
          mbiyimoh g. ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

          Actually there’s really no sign up and you don’t have to give them any personal info- you simply have to visit a webpage. They only get as much info as any other website you visit

    7. 0

      This is trying to do to things:
      a) Give people in need drinkable water.
      b) Bring awareness on how dependent we have become on technology, when some people do not have the basic needs on which their LIVES actually depend on.
      “Who cares about them?”- That is the mentality that makes no changes in the world.

    1. 0
      mbiyimoh g. ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

      i’m not sure what you’re trying to say here… that they don’t follow through with the promise? if that’s the case i would ask you to support this statement.

      or are you saying that there’s no real correlation between not using your phone and providing clean water? i believe that’s what you’re trying to say, in which case i think that the point of the idea is to gain awareness of the problem from people who otherwise would be oblivious.

        1. 0
          mbiyimoh g. ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

          That’s a valid point (although I’d have to see a source to confirm that). But regardless, building awareness of the issue is a good enough reason to justify the website in my opinion. Thanks for your input!

    2. 0
      ozewe says:

      They said they have sponsors who have pledged to give money (for projects to create clean water sources) specifically for time that people spend on this website. So yes, not touching your phone will cause them to donate water. Unless you have actually found information showing that they do not intend to follow through with this, or that their system works differently than the way they described.

      1. 0
        steff says:

        I think the way it usually works is that they’ll pledge “up to” X amount of money, and then the more people participate, the more they donate. But the thing is, why do they need me to not touch my phone (or send in yogurt lids or boxtops)? Couldn’t they just send the money? At heart, it is a publicity stunt to make the company look better. And sure, maybe to raise awareness, too. And people get to feel good without really changing their behavior or making much of an effort. (I may sound snarky about this, and I don’t necessarily think it’s the best way to raise money for charity, but I’ll admit to participating, because at least the money is getting donated, right?)

        A similar model allows people to choose which charity will get the money from a pool. I guess it helps to funnel money to your favorite, but it also puts worthy charities in competition with each other.

    3. 0
      ccash says:

      its not causing them to. The reason we put our phones down is to raise awareness. Its like the trending hashtag going around instagram called #cockinasock ….. it raises awareness for testicular cancer. Obviously it isn’t going to cure it, but it makes people stop the hustle and bustle of their daily lives to recognize that these are prevalent problems… same goes for this.

    1. 0
      mbiyimoh g. ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

      nothing at all! the last time i checked the record was more than 24 hours! i assume that person had their phone on the charge and probably had more than one cell phone.. that or extremely amazing self-control! lol

  21. 0
    Cynthia says:

    Is there a way of making this a bit more energy efficient? You have to leave your screen on the whole time. If you choose to turn off the screen, it pauses the time.

    1. 0
      Juan de Dios Aguilar says:

      block your phone without picking it up, same when you unlock it, don’t pick it up. timer keeps on going even after blocking the phone.

  22. 0
    Laura Pereira says:

    Cool. But if UNICEF has the resources to supply al these children with clean drinking water, they shouldn’t be waiting on us to stop using our phones. Just do it already.

    1. 0
      mbiyimoh g. ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

      The majority of the funding for this particular campaign is coming from Armani as far as i know but i agree with your point. I think they are trying to raise awareness of the issue by doing this but have already committed to provide a substantial amount of clean water for the Tap Project regardless as to how many people take part in the whole “don’t touch your phone” part of the campaign. Thanks for your comment!

    2. 0
      Rachel says:

      You have missed the point of this you can’t do without your phone for ten minutes, they go without clean water everyday. You can live without a phone but not without clean water.

  23. 0
    Megan Edwards says:

    Fine print on this page at the bottom: http://www.unicefusa.org/campaigns/tap-project/sponsors.html

    *Giorgio Armani Fragrances will donate $.0025 to the U.S. Fund for UNICEF for every minute a user goes without his/her cell phone on the UNICEF Tap Project mobile web application, up to $75,000, from March 1-31, 2014 to support UNICEF water and sanitation programs. The U.S. Fund for UNICEF does not endorse any brand or product. No portion of the purchase price is tax deductible.

    **UNICEF’s Next Generation will donate $.025 to the U.S. Fund for UNICEF to support the UNICEF Tap Project for every minute a user goes without his/her cell phone, up to $100,000, from February 14 – 28, 2014

  24. 0

    why dont u fucking ask nestle to give clean drinking water? i mean they have plenty of it… oh no the CEO of nestle says that water should be in hands of companies. rather burn nestle than not touching ur phone…

  25. 0
    Rooooo says:

    While this is a cute idea, I agree with some of these comments that alert people to understand that actually downloading the app and putting your phone down is NOT the catalyst for providing water. First, think about what the investor/organization has to gain. They are doing this for their own political gain in the name of a just cause. If they just wanted to do some good, they would. They have the money for PR to spread this message without these ridiculous conditions that go with it. What else is in that app? I, for one, would never download something to my phone that has anything to do with a project with “tap” in the title. Tap for water, or eavesdropping? UNICEF has been proven to be a corrupt political organization. I don’t trust them. They could just help, but they choose not to. Why?

  26. 0
    Jimmy says:

    The kids without water probably don’t have a phone, so it’ll be easy for them to not touch a phone…. Problem solved, all the kids now have water, right?

  27. 0
    Amy Hung says:

    I don’t understand what the big deal is and why anyone is complaining. Whether they actually do donate water or not, all they’re asking is to leave you phone alone for 10 minutes. And if they actually DO donate, it was nothing out of your pocket and you didn’t have to burn any extra calories. What’s the big deal? It’s only 10 goddamn minutes.

  28. 0
    mjk89 says:

    wtf. this issue isn’t some opt-in contest. if big brands have the resources to do this, which the do – plus some. they should be doing this just because.

  29. 0
    NoScubs says:

    I love how everyone is trying to tell the donor what to do with their resources so that they have one less excuse to avoid using their phone. Goes to show the very nature of this tech-savvy generation: taking something positive and twisting it into a “selfish” motive while seeking to maintain their own vain, selfie obsessed, candy crushing, facebooking, iDevice habits.
    “Why don’t they just donate it anyway?”
    Why don’t you put your phone down anyway?
    #Idontwanttoliveonthisplanetanymore

  30. 0

    It would be great to see what the results are for this campaign. Its a great awareness tool to bring this issue to people’s attention. They will receive the funding no matter what – it’s still not enough. So hopefully people will donate to UNICEF outside of this campaign to their Water & Sanitation programmes.

  31. 0
    Vuk says:

    I wasn’t thinking about water access until I read this post. I wouldn’t have read this post unless I was curious about the “don’t use your phone for 10 mins” gimmick. I think the campaign worked.

    1. 0
      aventuramare says:

      I agree with Vuk. To be honest, although the lack of water to people in developing countries is a big problem that many people are aware of, it’s a problem that the average person (who likely owns a smartphone) in a developed country often overlooks or conveniently forgets. As much as I’d like to think of myself as a generous person, I tend push aside third world problems because I am too busy spending time own problems with work, family, social life, and yes my smartphone! The very reason I clicked on this article was not necessarily because I wanted to read about the lack of water but I saw the phrase ‘Don’t touch your phone for 10 minutes…’ UNICEF came up with a brilliant idea to make an old problem relevant and eye catching to an audience like us. The key to this campaign is awareness. Now I’m thinking about those who are in need, and reading up on the issue rather than checking instagram or fb.

  32. 0

    personally….I see this as a GREAT way to get the general populace involved! It’s not about whether or not big corporations CAN give or not without the involvement, it’s simply ABOUT the involvement! I personally don’t follow what big corporations do w/their $$$. Perhaps they already are giving. Perhaps they are just trying to get YOU involved! ….and what an easy way to do so! As one totally connected to her phone every minute of every day (yes…very ‘sad’ ;) ), I think I like this program!

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