In the old days, social media was merely a tool which allowed people to stay connected to their friends and family members. Now it has become such a powerful tool for influencing people and encouraging them to become more engaged in solving the many problems facing our world.
Millionaire stock trader Timothy Sykes has utilized social media to help with his philanthropy efforts. He teamed up with international photographer Mattheau Abad to start the 501c3 charity foundation named Karmagawa. The name is a combination of the words, “karma” and “gawa,” with the latter meaning “to do” in the Filipino Tagalog language. When added to karma, the name means to produce good karma for the world. Since Abad is Filipino-American, it is only appropriate to use a word from his native language for the name of the charity.
The two biggest social media platforms they’re using to attract influencers and followers are Instagram and YouTube. As Sykes and Abad travel the world on their different charity projects, Abad takes realistic photographs and videos related to the problems they’re raising awareness about. Sykes curates the photographs and videos and writes captivating descriptions for them. After the photographs and videos get uploaded to Instagram and Youtube, they immediately get thousands of views and more importantly thousands of shares too which get more young people involved in giving back too!
“I can use a few different photos and a few different videos and make a collage and tell the story,” Sykes said. They made a video documentary about a rhino and how poachers are causing them to go extinct. After the video was uploaded to Instagram, it was shared over 6 million times and viewed over 30 million times. “It created this viral loop that just kept going, and more and more people were shocked about it,” Sykes added. “That’s the future of social media and the future of business online. It’s not just about likes and comments…how do you actually get people to care?”
Karmagawa helps promote various charities throughout the world which work to solve the causes they’re most interested in. Right now, these causes include saving the environment, combating global warming, saving rhinos, reducing plastic consumption, and saving coral reefs. Karmagawa has already donated over $4 million to 30 charities and build over 40 schools for poor children throughout the world.
Recently, Karmagawa spent $500,000 in the production of a documentary about endangered coral reefs called SafeTheReef. They sought out the filmmaking services of a talented young filmmaker named Amir Zakeri. At only 22 years old, Zakeri created an epic film which received over 4 million hits on YouTube within a 4-month period.
“People are tired of hearing about everything that’s wrong with the world. They want to know what they can do,” Zakeri said. “I don’t want me or my kids to need an oxygen mask just to walk outside. If we come together to solve this issue, we can solve any problem in the world.”
Anyone who is interested in donating to these various causes can find links to charities on the Karmagawa website or on their documentary pages.