The United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund has launched “the first ever Crypto fundraising” project named ‘Game Chaingers’, urging gamers to “turn graphics their cards into a humanitarian tool” and mine Ethereum, the second highest valued cryptocurrency after bitcoin to help Syrian children.
Over 500 people have already joined the unique initiative to support Syrian children. UNICEF’s ‘Game Chaingers’ charity project has raised more than 1,500 euros in five days since its launch last Friday.
In its promotional video UNICEF appealed to video game fans, who have the largest number of graphics cards. The powerful devices are necessary for cryptocurrency mining, which lies at the heart of the project and distinguishes it from other existing initiatives.
“Through the use of mining we create an opportunity for those who cannot give or have never had the opportunity to do so,” UNICEF said.‘Game Chaingers’ uses graphic cards as a humanitarian tool, instead of traditional cash donations. However, donations using a credit card or Paypal are also welcomed.
The organization urges everyone to engage in the ‘mining’ process, using the computing power of their PCs (and graphic cards in particular) to operate transactions of a certain cryptocurrency. They are given tokens as a reward. For its project the non-governmental organization has chosen Ethereum over the most volatile Bitcoin.
Since the onset of the conflict in the Syrian Arab Republic, more than 5.3 million people, including 2.5 million children,5 have been living as registered refugees in Turkey, Lebanon, Jordan, Iraq and Egypt.6 More than 90 per cent of these refugees are living in host communities and facing challenging socio-economic conditions, including high poverty rates,7 high costs of living, limited livelihood opportunities and the exhaustion of savings.
These circumstances have led to negative coping practices—such as removing children from school, particularly girls, to work or marry—further exacerbating existing protection risks. Nearly 10,000 Syrian refugee children are either unaccompanied or separated,8 and many of these children are vulnerable to exploitation, including child labour, due to lack of legal documentation.
Broader political and social pressures are impacting the stability of refugee/host community relations, which are strained by a slow economic recovery in several countries,9 high unemployment rates,10 competition over lower-skilled jobs, and increasing humanitarian needs.
‘Game Chaingers’ aims to ease the suffering of more than nine million children in Syria. According to UNICEF estimates, more than 13 million people in the war torn nation need “vital emergency help.”