SOS Children’s Villages supports orphaned, abandoned, and vulnerable children in 134 countries. They give thousands of children a home and find ways to keep families together. They wanted more people in the United States to become familiar with their work. So the organization came to M+R to help them come up with and carry out a media plan to grow their reputation (and in turn their fundraising) so they could keep doing more for the world’s children.

The Rio Olympics were only a couple months away when we first started working together. It was an important opportunity to shine a global spotlight on SOS’s villages in the country. Because of poverty and health issues that tear families apart, many children in Brazil’s largest cities often end up on the streets where they often endure gang violence, sexual abuse, and drug addiction.

SOS Children’s Villages gives dozens of these children a home and a new chance. We learned that one of these children in SOS’s care named Dudu had been selected to carry the Olympic torch through Rio de Janeiro.

We knew from our relationships with reporters that NBC had contracted BuzzFeed to create the social news elements of the station’s Olympics coverage. So we contacted the lead of BuzzFeed’s video team going to the Olympics and shared Dudu’s story. They loved it. We worked with the producer for two weeks to jump over scheduling and security hurdles and got them the footage of the SOS Children’s Village and Dudu carrying the torch they needed for their segment.

This story about SOS and Dudu aired on NBC’s Olympics Snapchat channel the day of the Olympics Opening Ceremony where it was viewed more than 10 million times:

The story was an uplifting way to show millions of people the impact that the organization is having on the lives of children in their villages in Brazil and around the world.

We know how special Dudu’s story was to share. There are so many important concerns and protections that go into storytelling with children. So as we continued to tell SOS’s story throughout the year, we highlighted the dedication of SOS moms in the villages as well as the innovative and heartwarming programs that SOS runs for youth in their care.