While everyone was self-isolating at home, NEYA, a charity organization, was busy creating quarantine boxes to distribute them to under privileged communities in Sohag and Minya, as well as Sudanese refugees across Egypt.
The campaign aimed to support 300 families in Mokkatem area, 400 families in Sohag, and 500 families in Minya to alleviate the negative impacts of the COVID-19 crisis on food security and poverty.
However, what the COVID-19 pandemic has shown is that philanthropy work needs to be upscaled. More giving back, more volunteering, and more socially driven and people-oriented initiatives are essential to help create a society based on equality and social justice.
To expand its outreach, NEYA launched the ‘Neya App’ to help connect the larger population with all development organizations and volunteering opportunities. “Giving back to our community is now only one click away. We help refer people to the right places and organization so they could connect with the causes they care about. We help people support a good cause through us,” Christiane Khouzam, project manager, tells Egyptian Streets.
The vision is to unify the development community and become a driving agent for the betterment of society and humanity. It is also to spearhead a transformation in the philanthropic landscape and build a foundation that facilitates efforts for those willing to give back to their community.
“What differentiates NEYA from other social enterprises is that it supports all causes and it is not entitled to only one cause. We help support causes related to poverty, women empowerment, health, orphanages, education, animal rights, refugees, elderly care and people with disabilities,” Khouzam adds.
“During the great public anxiety which saw many families leave their own pets in the streets from fear of transmitting the virus, we created a campaign and donated to several animal shelters to build their capacity,” Khouzam notes.
The app features several ways of helping out, whether through volunteering, donating, sponsoring, supporting, and creating awareness for a cause or initiative. “Our community ecosystem is composed of individuals, small groups, business and corporate organization, non-governmental organizations and social service agencies,” Maha Mostafa, head of social media and marketplace at NEYA, says.
“Neya is the first development platform in Egypt to connect people with social causes that they could give back to and support. It channels the potential of civil society by accelerating sustainable activity and awareness,” Mostafa adds.
It also helps volunteers and development organizations to interact and support one another equally. As volunteers sign up directly through the application, they receive information of several organizations with their programs and events. In turn, volunteers can share images of their experience on the application to help these organizations gain traction and support them.
The social enterprise also has an online marketplace to empower and generate awareness for local artisans all over Egypt. It aims to build the human capital of the local artisans by encouraging urban consumers to acknowledge and consume locally made products and contribute to the development and empowerment of the local community.
“We aim to serve as a platform for those interested in discovering Egyptian heritage. We aim to connect offline artisans with online consumers, and contribute to the sustainability of Egyptian handcrafts marketplace. Through this platform, we hope to generate awareness and a consistent income for our local artisan community,” Mostafa notes.