GLINT- Learning About HIV on World AIDS Day

On World AIDS Day, Give a Day held the first ever GLINT Challenge.  The Give a Day Live Not-so-Trivial Challenge was a marathon for the mind – a one-hour online twitter-based contest organized by Give a Day volunteers on the topic of HIV and the people and places most affected.  Over the course of one hour, 200 questions were tweeted from GLINT headquarters, recognizing that 200 people in the world die each hour because of HIV.  Aside from gaining a lot of knowledge, and bragging rights, the winning team would be able to direct $1000 in prize money to an organization that will use the money well in the fight against HIV/AIDS.

At noon on December 1, the volunteers at GLINT headquarters were ready with 200 questions and worked as a team to systematically tweet them out.  Twelve different twitter handles were registered in the challenge, and while individuals from Canada, the U.S. and South Africa played along, the most intense competition was between the multi-person teams which ranged from high school students, to a group of seniors from Toronto.  During the hour of GLINT, 1029 tweets were exchanged, causing some accounts to go temporarily over their daily capacity!  Teams quickly switched over to alternate accounts and kept playing.

Anne Greenwood, a GLINT participant commented, “GLINT was a great event! It was a great way to get together with people on World AIDS Day.  And the questions really got the conversation started. After we finished answering the questions, we sat around for over an hour discussing HIV/AIDS here in Canada and around the world.”

After all the tweeting was complete, the answers were tallied and the winner was @StratfordNWSS, the team from Stratford Northwestern Secondary School in Stratford, Ontario.  Runners-up were @BulldogAttack, @anne_greenwood and @bethanyphilpott.  The students at Northwestern met to discuss different organizations and have decided to direct their prize to the Stephen Lewis Foundation.

The GLINT Challenge winners- Stratford Northwestern Secondary School!

Volunteers who organized this challenge report that it was an exhilarating experience. We often say that Give a Day donors are very unique. They have the ability to connect at a distance with people they will never know, and to see common ground and shared similarities.  Twitter has now given us a new way to connect with others who are concerned about HIV in the world and to work together to get people talking about HIV and how we can learn and respond. While we might not ever meet personally with those who participated in GLINT, it was remarkable to spend an hour together on World AIDS Day, and to know that so many others were using their time and energy to work towards a world without AIDS.



Winners of the GLINT Challenge – Stratford Northwestern Secondary School

Karen Congram, Teacher at Stratford Northwestern Secondary School writes…Northwestern students are honoured to be the first-ever winners of an international research competition. The GLINT Twitter Challenge took place on World AIDS Day, December 1st. GLINT is an online contest on the topic of HIV and the people and places most affected by HIV. Recognizing that 200 people in the world die each hour because of HIV, there were 200 questions sent through the @GLINTchallenge Twitter feed between 12:00 and 1:00 p.m. Teams around the world race to send correct answers back over Twitter.

Students were nominated by teachers. The eight students chosen for the team were Ben Congram, Kenny Edwards, Sam Hall, Michelle Hicks, Jackie Laing, Amanda Pearson, Milos Tausan, and Erik Van Dijk. The three teacher coaches were Karen Congram, Morgan Kneider Patterson, and Sherry Mason, with Ms. Mason sending the tweets for the whole team.

The competition was fast, exciting, chaotic, stressful, and fun! Northwestern was the overall winner, and as such has the honour of donating $1,000 to an HIV-related charity. The team met to discuss the choice and unanimously decided the money will go to the Stephen Lewis Foundation. The Stephen Lewis Foundation supports community-based organizations in African countries that have been deeply affected by the AIDS pandemic.

The GLINT Challenge is coordinated by the Give a Day campaign to raise awareness about World AIDS Day. The mission of the Give a Day campaign is to challenge each Canadian to give one day’s pay in the fight against HIV/AIDS.