March 24, 2010 / 7:41 PM / 10 years ago

Twitterers go offline in the name of charity

A Somali refugee girl walks in front of a blackboard in a classroom at Hagadera camp in Dadaab in Kenya's northeastern province, June 4, 2009. REUTERS/Finbarr O'Reilly

TORONTO (Reuters) - Thousands of Twitterers worldwide will put their fingers to rest and gather offline on Thursday in the name of charity.

People in over 200 cities worldwide will participate in the second annual “Twestival,” which this year aims to raise funds for education.

“It’s a pretty viral phenomenon that happened,” said Sarah Prevette, lead organizer for Twestival Toronto.

The event is organized by thousands of volunteers globally, and local businesses fund the parties, where social-media enthusiasts dance, mingle and network.

Funds raised for “Twestival,” via corporate sponsorship, ticket sales or celebrity eBay auctions, will benefit Concern Worldwide, which offers basic education programs in impoverished nations.

“Education is that one tool that we can give someone, and knowledge really does empower and that was something that really struck a chord with volunteers globally,” said Prevette. “It only costs $74 to send a primary school child to school for a year in these nations.”

The first Twestival event raised over $250,000 for clean water projects in Uganda, Ethiopia and India.

According to Twestival’s website, over 4,000 people have purchased tickets to Thursday’s events.

Reporting by Irene Kuan; Editing by Eric Beech

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