Gold award for Kindness Chat Bot


  • Nation
  • Friday, 01 Nov 2019

All smiles: Vogiatzakis (centre) receiving the award on behalf of R.AGE with Singapore’s The Straits Times editor-in-chief and World Editors Forum president Warren Fernandez (right) and Wan-Ifra chief operating officer Thomas Jacob.

HONG KONG: The #StandTogether campaign’s Kindness Chat Bot, developed by R.AGE and Unicef Malaysia, was recognised with a gold award at the 2019 Asian Digital Media Awards, adding another entry in the kindness campaign’s list of accolades.

The WhatsApp-based chat bot, developed as part of the #StandTogether student kindness campaign by property developer SP Setia, Star Media Group (SMG) and R.AGE, received the top prize in the Best Digital Project to Engage Younger and/or Millennial Audiences category alongside Hong Kong’s South China Morning Post on Wednesday.

The chat bot aimed to encourage Malaysians to perform acts of kindness and contained interactive features including the five-day #StandTogether Kindness Challenge.

The challenge saw 8,000 people sign up and receive daily “Kindness Missions”, which they had to complete by the end of the day. Over 3,000 people completed all five missions.

“Our goal with the chat bot was simple – to empower Malaysians to be kind again, especially in schools – because we believe students can be real drivers of change in society, ” said R.AGE deputy executive editor and producer Ian Yee.

“And since there’s so much hate in the world today being spread on digital media, we thought, ‘Hey, why not use that same technology to empower acts of kindness instead?’”

The chat bot also helps students and teachers across the country sign up for the #StandTogether National Kindness Week programme (which SP Setia and R.AGE campaigned the Education Ministry for in 2018), and enables students to submit “Kindness Project” ideas for funding as well.

SP Setia gave out RM40,000 in grant funding to kick-start the students’ best Kindness Projects, in addition to funding most of the #StandTogether campaign as part of its mission to build kinder communities.

Unicef Malaysia child online protection consultant Keith Woo was part of the core team, alongside Yee and R.AGE journalist Myrra Baity, that developed the chat bot using Unicef’s U-Report platform.

“It’s an honour to be recognised by leaders in the industry for these efforts and a very encouraging affirmation of the collective effort poured in by everyone through the campaign, ” said Woo.

“This is a great example of what Malaysians can achieve when we band together for a good cause, ” said SMG CEO Andreas Vogiatzakis.

“You have R.AGE, SP Setia, the Education Ministry, Unicef, other partners and most importantly the students and teachers, all playing a part in getting this movement onto the world stage, and I’m sure it will keep growing.”

R.AGE and SP Setia are now aiming to bring the #StandTogether movement to other countries, having attracted interest from schools and organisations across the region earlier this year.

To find out more about #StandTogether, go to facebook.com/StandTogetherMY.


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