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With celebrity backing, Turkish Airlines to fly food provisions to the Somali famine victims

(Reuters)

A campaign has been launched by a vineyard stars to use Turkish Airlines to help famine victims in Somalia, went viral over the weekend, reaching the $1 million in signatures within 24 hours.

The campaign, created by Jerome Jarre, who is known on social media platforms such as Snapchat, was launched on 15 March, but was quickly picked up and promoted by celebrities, ranging from YouTuber Juanpa Zarita to the NFL player and political activist Colin Kaepernick, and even actor Ben Stiller.

“This movement started with a crazy idea: what if we could convince the Turkish Airlines let us use one of their flights to Somalia? And fill it with food!” Jarre explained on the original GoFundMe page.

Why Turkish Airlines? Currently, the Istanbul-based carrier is the only international airline that flies to Somali capital, Mogadishu, the urge of Jarre to create the hashtag #TurkishAirlinesHelpSomalia.

If you have 2 minutes and 20 seconds check this out. #TurkishAirlinesHelpSomalia pic.twitter.com/r0u3xh5spG

— Ben Stiller (@RedHourBen) March 15, 2017

Eventually, the airline took notice and agreed to be involved.

“We have the call for this meaningful flight,” the airline said in a tweet on March 16.

We ❤Somalia. We have the call for this meaningful flight. @jeromejarre @redhourben @ELJuanpazurita #TurkishAirlinesHelpSomalia

— Turkish Airlines (@TurkishAirlines) March 16, 2017

In just a single day, the campaign’s GoFundMe page reaches the $1 million goal to help pay for the facilities that are rice, flour, sugar, nutritional biscuits, cooking oil, among other basic provisions, according to Jarre.

Accoding to Metro UK, the average donation is around $28 – with the largest amounts coming from Kaepernick, basketball player Wilson Chandler, and DJ Calvin Harris, who all donated $25,000 each.

We got in the plane! Now is the time to raise money for food and water. You can donate to https://t.co/5BzrLjT3SO #LoveArmyForSomalia pic.twitter.com/sAKX2t9tdd

— Colin Kaepernick (@Kaepernick7) March 17, 2017

“Not only do they are available a full cargo flight that can fly 60 tons of food, but they agreed to let us ship food containers on their commercial aircraft to Somalia, to the end of the famine,” the financiers of the campaign wrote after Turkish Airlines agreed to fly the food.

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“An aircraft on one mission on time! We are learning how to help now, starting with a point of impact. Now, we have proven how much our power does not mean much individually, but has the potential to move mountains (PLANES!!!) if we UNITE,” they wrote.

According to the United Nations, approximately 6.2 million people are currently in need of humanitarian assistance in Somalia. That is almost half of the total population.

“For the first flight,” the campaign declared, “we buy the food in Istanbul, as a thank you to our Turkish friends who supports the movement!”

“Later, we hope to learn how to buy food direct from local businesses in Somalia. We want to support the Somali economy.”

As of this post, Love Army for Somalia has raised more than $1.7 million by 63,580 backers.

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