A WhatsApp chat bot developed by R.AGE and Unicef Malaysia to promote kindness has been recognised with a gold award at the 2019 Asian Digital Media Awards in Hong Kong.
The Kindness Chat Bot, developed as part of the #StandTogether student kindness campaign by property developer SP Setia, Star Media Group (SMG) and R.AGE, shared the top prize in the Best Digital Project to Engage Younger and/or Millennial Audiences category with Hong Kong’s South China Morning Post.
The chat bot contained various interactive features aimed at encouraging acts of kindness, the most popular of which was the five-day #StandTogether Kindness Challenge, where users were sent daily “Kindness Missions” which they had to complete by the end of the day.
Over 8,000 people signed up for the inaugural challenge, with over 3,000 completing 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 a total of RM40,000 in grant funding to kickstart 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.
“We have never envisioned pursuing these accolades or awards as part of the campaign – and we hope efforts to curb bullying through acts of kindness will continue to make the world a better place for children of all backgrounds.”
“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.”