In Ramadan, people invest both their time and their money on charitable causes. However, this year, it has been difficult to do so because of the coronavirus pandemic. That’s where Neya comes in, the startup is helping people find volunteering opportunities and charities to donate to.
Hana El Sadat launched Neya in 2019 to fill a gap she encountered while searching for a cause to support. “When I was looking for a place to volunteer with after I graduated from university, I noticed that there is no online platform that brings together these places or tells me about the best opportunities and most reliable places to volunteer. That’s how I got the idea for Neya,” El Sadat tells WAYA.
Neya’s mission is to facilitate and promote sustainable development activities and collaboration. It helps both individuals and corporates explore different causes so that those they want to support. Contribution can take place in several forms such as donations, volunteering and purchasing goods from NGOs. Additionally, the startup offers companies the opportunity to organize charitable events, and achieve their CSR goals.
The main obstacle was to convince people and organizations to collaborate with them. People did not understand that they are a tool and not a competitor El Sadat tells WAYA. Recently, this has changed. “Thankfully, now, due to COVID-19 many entities are realizing the power of working together which is something that is changing in our ecosystem,” she says.
The App for Do-Gooders
This week Neya has launched its app. Through the app, users can connect with organizations and people in need. El Sadat explains that they have gamified philanthropy and volunteering.
She says “We have incentivized our community do-gooders and given them benefits for their time and their donations. We are building a hub and a community of people who want to give back and who can work together”. User can accumulate points by using in-app features which can be redeemed and used as a discount in certain stores. This model is similar to Khadoum’s app.
The app allows users to subscribe to causes, meaning they will donate to it regularly in an automated way. Users won’t have to worry about forgetting to pay each month.
Moreover, the app acts as a network. Users can spread the word about charity events and the causes they support. Sharing photos, questions, comments and suggestions can also be done on the app. Additionally, users can start their own campaign with a cause of their choice, and Neya will help them raise money.
During the month of Ramadan, Neya has four main initiatives. The first is daily food boxes, the startup aims to support 5,000 families in Egypt through this alone. Secondly, the startup will distribute hot meals daily to the needy. The third initiative, “Ben7ayikom”, is to show appreciation for health care workers who risk their lives daily to preserve the safety of society. Lastly, the startup has organized a “Zero Waste” initiative. It is working closely with fashion designers to collect leftover materials and transfer them to women’s workshops.
In just over a year, the startup has amassed over 5,000 volunteers. It has partnered with Emaar, DHL, Al Sewedy and others on the #spreadtheneya campaign. “We will be working on different initiatives that focus on self-reflection and random acts of kindness to promote an ecosystem of doing good,” El Sadat says.
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