In February last year, Twitter users from 202 cities around the world rallied together for an event called Twestival and raised over US$250,000 (RM875,000) for a non-profit organisation called “charity: water”.
By April, the first Twestival well was drilled in Ethiopia.

More than 1,000 volunteers and 10,000 donors raised the amount, which resulted in the drilling of 55 wells in countries like Uganda, Ethiopia and India, directly impacting over 17,000 people.

Later that year, Twestival Local was organised in 130 cities. This time, the Twitterers – both fundraisers and donors – worked towards a local cause in their respective cities. Collectively, over US$450,000 (more than RM1.57mil) was raised.

A bunch of avid Twitterers in Kuala Lumpur, myself included, joined the campaign to raise funds for Destiny Starting Point, a home for delinquents in Klang, Selangor. The KL edition of the event was held at a club in Bangsar and almost 200 people attended it; RM11,000 was raised in that one night.

This year, Twestival Global will happen on March 25 and for the first time, Malaysia will also be involved in not just one, but three states!

Twestival Global will benefit one charity – Concert Worldwide, an international humanitarian organisation dedicated to reducing suffering and ending extreme poverty.

Twestival Global’s theme for 2010 is education, and as such, all proceeds (100% of all donations go to the charity) from the hundreds of events organised will be spent to build schools, train teachers and health education, among others.

While all three of the Malaysian events – in KL, Penang and Kota Kinabalu, Sabah – will benefit one charity, each city is organising separate campaigns to raise funds for Twestival.

The Twitterers busy tweeting away during Twestival KL 2009.

The Twitterers busy tweeting away during Twestival KL 2009.

In KL, I am working together with Chan Hui Ling, David Lian, Radiance Leong and other volunteers who started our auctioning campaign via Twitter.

We have called on Twitter users to pledge services or items for others to bid on, and 100% of the proceeds will go to Concern Worldwide. Among the things up for auction are photography sessions, blog design services and even chauffer services. Check out the ever growing list.

On March 25, local Twitterers will gather at Starbucks in Tropicana City Mall in Petaling Jaya at 7pm to bid for the items and services, as well as catch up and have a bit of fun. For more information, click here.

The Penang and Kota Kinabalu editions, on the other hand, would be one big Tweet-up (that’s Twitter meet-up for those of you not in the know).

In Penang, it will be held at OXO Cafelab in Bayan Lepas while in Kota Kinabalu, the venue is Stone Bridge Galley Restaurant in Asia City. To get more information on these events, you can visit their respective websites at  and /.

More details of all the events will be released soon. If you’re on Twitter, you can follow @twestivalkl, @penangtwestival and @kktwestival for updates.

Niki Cheong is part of the Twestival Global team as the Regional Coordinator for the Asia Pacific on the Twestival. Click here to follow @twestivalasia.

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