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Borderless Education with SAWBO

How can we communicate complex messages to people who lack the technical or scientific knowledge, or in some cases are illiterate? A group of researchers have found a way to take information to the unreached at the click of a button.

Scientific Animations Without Borders (SAWBO) is a science-based civic education program based out of University of Illinois which works to create accessible videos into a diverse set of languages from around the world. Over 60% of the world’s 2.4 billion mobile users live in developing countries. This makes the mobile phone a great tool for mass communication and scientific education. Animations created by SAWBO help to fill this knowledge gap for free using animated videos. The goal of these videos is to reduce epidemic outbreaks, post-harvest losses and poverty.

Our team, Emerging Ag, works to help guide them in best practices and strategies to promote these videos to the necessary audiences. A social media strategy was developed to promote videos created by SAWBO that focused on methods to protect yourself against COVID-19. With the COVID-19 video being the first of our promotions, we were able to reach over 10.4 million viewers and acquired over 15.8 million impressions in just one month on Facebook. This resulted in a huge increase in video views, helping to get their important messaging to those who need it most. 

In continuation with our work with SAWBO to promote their educational videos, we developed a broader communications plan to increase their project’s reach online, as well as an acceleration plan to promote a video animation on Jerrycan bean storage. This animation explains how to avoid insect damage when storing beans after harvest using the jerrycan method and is a great resource for farmers in rural communities. The acceleration plan aimed to promote the video in Ghana, Nigeria, Kenya, and Bangladesh. Focusing on Facebook promotion for this video as well, the total reach of the project exceeded 10 million. Further acceleration plans are being developed to promote new video animations through YouTube and Google advertising. 

Social Media and the internet can be useful tools for information dissemination. Users only need to ensure the source is trustworthy and the information has been verified. We are glad that projects and organisations such as SAWBO are taking advantage of social media for worthy causes. Through social media, SAWBO has an opportunity to draw a better world.

Take a moment to watch some of their videos here.


Stefanie Hyde

With a passion for creativity, marketing and communications, Stefanie contributes to Emerging’s online communications and brand management, develops graphic visuals, and provides communications support to Emerging and its valued clients. Stefanie has grown up in a family with a long history in agriculture. Her family roots and exposure to farming and agri-business has nurtured a natural love for the industry and the wonderful people who work in it. Prior to joining Emerging, she has gained career experience working with Parks Canada in a Promotions and New Media role and developed skills including videography, advertising, marketing, social media and graphic design. Stefanie is a Canadian national and speaks both French and English. She graduated from Ryerson University in Toronto, Ontario, with a Bachelors Degree of Design. Stefanie attended the Copenhagen School of Design and Technology where she specialized in Sustainable Communications which included sustainable design, communications and marketing. Stefanie has spent time living in both Denmark and Rome, and is currently based in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada.

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