A few years back I remember walking down Moi Avenue along a small narrow road hoping to make it to the bus stop before it rained. It was such a gloomy day. In the midst of all this rush, I spotted a little girl she couldn’t have been older than 5 years old. She had no shoes on and a dress that looked like it was the only one she owned. She silently leaned on a wall on the opposite side of the road. I stared at her from a distance because I was curious to see what she had in her hand. I was shocked to see her dusting dirt off a piece of bread that looked like she picked from the floor, so that she could eat it. Shocked and saddened by the sight of this young girl’s suffering I accepted my responsibility to giving back to my society.
Charity is a social and moral responsibility that maybe felt by some and not others. In addition this responsibility has been greatly understood over the years and gained momentum within our societies all thanks to technology and its development. Technology is changing the world of philanthropy. With the number of apps increasing, high speed Internet, it has been made easy for us to learn about causes we deeply care for and has made the process of donation or offering others support and assistance more convenient and enjoyable.
Technology has not only made giving to charity more convenient but also has created a platform for all those that run these charities. You do not have to go to a big charity organisation anymore. Technology has become a great tool to reduce the gap between the population that has and the population that needs. The use of technology as a tool in the charity world has advanced and now individuals can put out their causes on single websites where large audiences can be easily reached and their stories can be heard. An example of such a website is this most recent popular one. Gofundme
Gofundme is a crowd funding platform that allows people to raise money for different events ranging from life events such as celebrations, graduations to challenging circumstances like accidents, illness and causes they are passionate about. Brad Damphousse and Andrew Ballester started the company in May 2010. GoFundMe allows clients to create their own website to describe what they would like to raise money for. During this process, members can describe their fundraising cause, the amount they hope to raise and upload photos or video. The website also allows them to share their project with people through integrated social network links Facebook, Twitter, etc.
Donations are quicker and less hassle. People can now donate to a cause through different websites using only a debit card, credit card and mobile money exchange (Mpesa), and this tracks the progress of funding. Mpesa has revolutionised the world of giving back to our societies. An example of a charity group that describes their easy procedure to follow when donating to their cause.
The young girl I met on the street that day really had a great impact on my life. She made me realise how desensitised we have become to the suffering of the less fortunate in our communities and around the world. I personally have used the Internet to raise money for more than one cause that is dear to my heart. Technology has allowed me to be transparent to well-wishers. I have found it easy to use the Internet to share the success on who benefits from these generous donations.
Just the beginning of this year a few friends and I started a community initiative that is designed to develop a channel of communication between the have and the have-not’s of our society by creating a space for interaction between the two groups and as result reducing the gap between the two groups in our society. We started this off by opening a face book page. Wajibika
On a larger scale, a fewer years ago there was a concept of pouring icy water over your head after which you nominate others to do the same and then donate to an associated charity. This was associated with ALS (amyotrophic lateral sclerosis) to raise awareness on the disease and the relative small charities saw these donations receiving almost $100m from $2.7m the year before. A number of famous people took part in raising this awareness and even footballer showed their support of the cause.
Let us use the technology for good and to make the world a better place. Let’s make a difference and give back to our societies using all the opportunities provided to us by the digital Era. There is no space for ignorance in this era.