McGill MBA students to raise funds for disadvantaged children through social media

 | February 03,2012 11:35 am IST

 Students from McGill University’s Desautels Faculty of Management will travel to South Africa this month to visit companies, speak with business leaders – and use social media to raise funds for educating children in the disadvantaged townships of Port Elizabeth. 


“This trip is more than a chance to learn, we are aiming to give back to our host country as well,” said Melanie Walsh, one of the students coordinating the fund-raising campaign.

The goal of this student-run initiative is to put social media to the test: By sharing their experiences through video and written blogs, the students aim to raise awareness of efforts to break the cycle of poverty in the townships of Port Elizabeth. The Desautels students aim to raise a total of $20,000 through individual donations and corporate sponsorship. All funds raised will be donated to the Ubuntu Education Fund in Port Elizabeth. 


The McGill MBA and management undergraduates, who hail from cities across the world, will encourage those who follow their travels online to donate for the cause. The content will be on the official website at: as well as on Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, and other social media sites. This innovative fundraising enterprise captures this generation’s ability to use the power of social media to spread a positive message and to make a difference. 


This student-run initiative is part of a groundbreaking course taught by Professor Karl Moore at the Desautels Faculty of Management. The purpose is to leverage experiential learning and bring students out of the classroom and into emerging hotbeds of commerce and culture. The project highlights a new kind of global engagement.“Too often people of my generation flew business class, lectured emerging economies aboutthe theory of markets and then flew back home,” said Professor Moore. “This generation is doing it better; they fly in the back of the plane with only their knapsacks, show up in the country they want to learn about, roll up their sleeves and plunge right in and they ask: ‘How can WE help?’”