Recently, a group of tech entrepreneurs, self-titled ‘Better Angels’ launched a crowdfunding platform, We are Together, aimed at helping Nigerians in these difficult times caused by the coronavirus pandemic.
We are tech entrepreneurs who are using the technology we developed for our companies and leveraging the power of networks to crowdsource a fiscal stimulus for Nigeria. Get involved, donate now! https://t.co/MxCn0rEOaE #wearetogetherng #stimulusforNigeria #crowdsourcestimulus pic.twitter.com/b3yTlZlJKm
— We are Together (@wearetogetherhq) April 17, 2020
While likened to a charity, the group disputes this by saying they are neither one nor a non-governmental organisation.
With this in mind, the group said the crowdfunding platform was set as a response to the socio-economic distress many Nigerians are facing as a result of the pandemic.
“What we are experiencing is a massive exogenous shock to several of our systems – our healthcare system, our economic system, and of course, to our psyches. There are a lot of organizations working on the healthcare side and we commend them.
“We are working on the economic side. People are home, with most unable to generate any income to sustain themselves, businesses are shut and salaries are not guaranteed,” the group wrote on its website.
How We are Together crowdfunding works
Donors make donations to the platform. Then the team at We are Together uses a decision engine it built to disburse funds to people who need them most at this time.
According to the group, individuals who would like to receive financial assistance, in this case, ₦10,000 ($25.7) will need to have an account number and most importantly, a bank verification number (BVN).
If accepted and the funds have been disbursed to you, the group encourages you to reapply every three weeks if need be until the platform shuts down. On the other hand, if not accepted, the group encourages such individuals to reapply in two weeks.
From the website, we gathered that the platform began accepting donations and disbursing at the same time on April 16. Since then, it has raised ₦16,169,406.08 ($41,515.50) from 146 donations and disbursed ₦10,030,000 ($25,752.37) to 1,003 individuals at the time of writing.
The ‘Better Angels’ are individuals from tech companies like Bento.africa (also known as verifi.ng), Zedvance, Paystack, Bamboo, Accounteer, Future Africa, Hotels.ng, Hygeia HMO, Quidax, iROKOtv, Drinks.ng, and ZROSK. The group intends to close the crowdfunding platform by December 2020.