International non-profit WaterAid has come together with Amazon’s virtual assistant Alexa to introduce six interactive voice messages, highlighting its work. These messages will come under the banner of WaterAid Voices, as the sounds of Tsarafangitra village in Madagascar are brought into users’ homes. Topics covered in the messages include water, hygiene, food, music, and wildlife, all delivered in a good humoured manner, while maintaining their educational purpose.
Listening to WaterAid voices will teach users some phrases in Malagasy, help them to understand more about the culture and food on the island in the Indian Ocean, and even instruct on how to spot a type of humped cattle called a zebu. Daniel Gray, digital content and experience lead at WaterAid, said: “At WaterAid, we know that digital experiences that can engage and build empathy will help achieve our vision – a world where clean water, decent toilets and good hygiene are a normal part of daily life for everyone, everywhere.”
He added that the WaterAid Voices project has the ability to bring supporters closer to the invaluable impact that aid has on its recipients. Not only that, but users get real value in return and are able to develop their knowledge in a fun and accessible way. “The interactivity and immersion that voice technology allows for opened up new creative avenues, and to tell a story in a whole new way,” Mr Gray summarised.
Madagascar has a population of 24 million and almost half of these individuals do not have access to safe drinking water. Around 88 per cent of the inhabitants of the island do not have proper sanitation available to them. WaterAid works with a number of government agencies in Madagascar to facilitate a collaborative approach to solving these issues, as well as with some of the country’s poorest communities. WaterAid is hoping the campaign will help to develop a more personal relationship between itself and its audience, and raise extra money to help with its relief efforts.