Launched on 27 February, the project “Melanie Can Do It” (Mélanie peut le faire) supported by Unapei, has taken social networks by storm with more than 100,000 likes on the Facebook page in 36 hours, 2 million views for the first video posted, and tens of thousands of shares. Mélanie is a young 21-year old woman with Down syndrome who, in a week, mobilised more than 200,000 people around her project to present the weather on TV.
She did so on the French television channel France2 on March 14 at 8:35 pm, providing the channel with record audience figures. Her performance on France2 was watched by 5.3 million viewers live and, including the replay, was seen by a total of 8.3 million people. By the 16 March this exceptional figure was pushed even higher by the more than 6.5 million views on Facebook and 50,000 on YouTube. As for the page “Mélanie can do it”, it recorded more than 250 000 likes, not counting the 12,000 Internet users who congratulated her on Twitter.
Mélanie’s successful project demonstrates that one can have a handicap and be capable, and that a society that is open to all differences is indeed possible.