Watsi is a global crowdfunding platform for healthcare that enables anyone to donate as little as $5 to directly fund life-changing medical care for people in need.Â WatsiÂ is completely transparent, an open book where 100 per cent of every donation funds medical attention. It is an original way for individuals to give money to one-off medical treatments in the developing world. Itâ€™s a new take on the idea ofÂ crowdfunding, which involves large numbers of people contributing to a project to help it achieve a specific goal.
The vision came from its Co-Founder Adam Chase who, while travelling on a bus in a small village inÂ Costa Rica called Watsi, saw a poor woman on the bus holding a red folder, speaking to the passengers. A few moments later Chase saw that she was now holding a plastic bag full of money. Chase had no idea what she was selling and only realised when the man next to him asked to see the red folder she was holding. The instant she opened the folder everything came together. She was asking for donations to pay for her sonâ€™s medical treatment. In that moment Watsi was born. Chase believed if he could somehow connect this woman with his family and friends, she would have the money to pay for her son’s medical treatment within the day.
Watsiâ€™s works very closely with Medical Partners, on-the-ground organisations that provide reliable medical care to underserved populations in developing countries. These Partners use their local knowledge and experience to vet the patients that apply for Watsi care; all the patientsâ€™ profiles posted on Watsi remain online until they are fully funded. The aim of this crowdfunding platform is to fund low-cost, high-impact medical treatments for a million people in need.
In order to be eligible for Watsi funding, patients must be afflicted with a condition that, if left untreated, will severely impact their standard of living. All treatments that cost less than $3000 USD are eligibleâ€”just like eight-year-old John who has a bright future ahead. He is in an orphanage, where his caregiver noticed that John has a condition commonly called â€œknock knees.â€ His legs cause him pain and limping. Simple surgery will straighten his legs and relieve his pain. With his right knee surgery already completed, John is half way on his journey towards straight legs. He needs treatment of his left knee. The surgery will cost $1,000; it will be his last step in the journey towards a disability free life.
Watsi believes that every person deserves access to medical care, regardless of their nationality, religion, or socioeconomic status. It envisions a world where people no longer die from conditions that society has the knowledge, resources, and power to treat. It is bringing the world together to provide access to a fundamental human right.
Photo Credit:Â John on WatsiÂ
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