Local software engineer Sadikie Williams says he was prompted to create the crowdfunding platform, Real Helping Hands (RHH), after seeing a photo of a youngster from his youth community, McGreggor Gully in Kingston, watching other children using tablets.
“He was just there looking out the window because he doesn’t have a tablet, but he sees other kids using tablets. So they were able to go to school but he couldn’t go to online school. When I saw that, it touched me and I wanted to give back, but I wanted to give back on a grand scale,” Williams said. THE STAR.
At the time, the COVID-19 pandemic was raging and tablets, computers and smartphones became important learning mediums. However, due to the severe decline in economic activities, many families were unable to provide devices for their children. Fundraising, through crowdfunding platforms such as GoFundMe, has become a new normal.
Williams said he wanted to find ways to help his struggling compatriot. McGreggor Gully’s youth photo, he said, was instrumental in directing his mind and energies towards the creation of RHH, which empowers people to fundraise online, directly from Jamaica and anywhere in the world.
“I decided to solve a problem that I see in the Caribbean, where they don’t have a crowdfunding platform, and then try to mobilize the communities to raise funds,” said the software engineer.
While crowdfunding is not a new phenomenon, Jamaicans hoping to use existing ones like GoFundMe must first have access to bank accounts and addresses in the United States or one of the 19 other countries in which it is accessible.
“We intentionally decided to launch from Jamaica first and then reached out to the other Caribbean islands and asked them to use the platform, but we wanted to be a model so they could see how to use the platform. platform of Jamaicans,” he said. mentioned.
Launched in 2020, RHH only requires users to enter their names, phone numbers and email addresses to register to use the platform.
“After you register with us, you receive an online form to fill out to create your campaign. You create your campaign, you collect your funds. At the end of the campaign or when you are ready to withdraw your funds, then we are I’m going to ask you for your Jamaican national ID and bank details.”
Unlike other platforms, RHH allows people to make multiple withdrawals at any time during your fundraiser, whether or not you have reached your goal.
“The pattern is we wanted to be practical. We want something different,” Williams said.
“One of the big things we’re trying to do is attract more college students. If anyone can actually use the platform to raise US$1,000, it’s basically college tuition. ‘a student for the year. If there is an accident you can raise money for medical bills associated with the accident. If someone dies, you can use our platform to raise money for the family. and for that family’s funeral expenses. Basically, those three categories that we really want to push for people to use for us,” Williams said.