Latinoamerica, developing region, where one of its greatest riches is the quality and warmth of its people. I am a psychologist and Ph.D. in neuroscience, my husband is a computer science engineering, and we both share the need to help others and the greatest cognitive challenge for humanity since the emergence of COVID-19, Empathy. One night during the quarantine, after seeing multiple and large aid initiatives through donations of money, food or security and prevention implements for the most vulnerable published on different social networks, and after an overwhelming day of listening to various emerging needs in friends, colleagues, and relatives of middle class, different from the basic needs for which the world was trying to give priority, I sat down to talk with my husband about my feelings of frustration and helplessness, not knowing:
1) How to decide which initiative support among so many available options, but having limited financial resources, taking into account that the most people in Colombia and LATAM are middle class, with resources that are barely enough to meet the main needs of their own family.
2) How to ensure that the scope of our aid is not limited to money or donations to cover basic needs, taking into account all the emerging needs resulting from adaptation to confinement, such as household roles, teleworking, virtual education, care of children, social and family isolation, disability and aging at home, financial difficulties, money management, emotional disturbances, and isolation, among others
3) How to generate non-economic or material alternatives, through which anyone, only with the will to help and with their human resources (skills, aptitudes, knowledge, motivation and social skills), can "match" with an anonymous being anywhere in LATAM or perhaps in the world, which needs help through small actions, but for those who receive them they represent a lot, in addition to helping to alleviate the feelings of frustration and helplessness of not knowing how to contribute in coping with this crisis world;
4) How to respond to the three previous points taking advantage of what is no longer an option, but a need and the only resource that most people will have access to connect during this quarantine: technology. Thus in a night of physical and mental exhaustion, what first wanted to be a "chain of favors" emerged, and then it became "favorsfromhome.com", the solidarity Tinder of the quarantine.
What it does
It is a platform that connect people who need help with people who want to help** with their skills, knowledge and/or time, through small favors that help to cope with the changes and adaptations required during the global contingency by COVID-19 in different areas of daily, family, work, educational, health, and social life.
People do not always have to be available to help and can decide how much time they have to do favors, from one hour a week onwards. Likewise, when two people have "matched", whoever helps may not make another match until they have done their favor. This in order not to overload the person offering help and ensure that the person seeking help can find a solution. In the end, both will be able to evaluate their "match" and position themselves in a "solidarity ranking".
How we built it
We implement a website that connects to a database where questions and answers are stored and where the statistics of the system are stored to make intelligent matches between people.
Challenges we ran into
The main challenge was to select and define the relevant categories within the platform for both those who need help and those who want to help. For this, we needed first, to identify the real needs of people during quarantine in different areas of life. Second, define the abilities, aptitudes, knowledge, experience and all the possible human resources with which people could help others. And finally, we needed to know if people would be willing to use such a platform and how much of their time would they donate to do small favors such as advising, for example, on virtual education, telecommuting, technology, household issues, emotional, spiritual and health aspects. and well-being etc. To do this, we build a quick survey that we attach, along with its results and from which we define the connection routes between potential users of the platform.
Accomplishments that we're proud of
We still have a long way to go, but we are proud that our survey was answered by 95 people in three days, and that of 100% of the respondents, our idea had a definitive acceptance in 62%, and possible in 31%, and only 6% would never use a platform of this type. Likewise, we are proud to have put the platform online without any founding.
What we learned
We learn every day in every advance we make, but so far we have learned that we can do a lot with few resources and impact many people in the world by adding small actions. We learned that the needs of people during this contingency are multiple and in different areas of life, and to face them, multiple strategies are also needed that combine technology with the most human characteristics of our species. We have learned that to re-invent our roles and our lifestyle, all of society needs to work together because the world will not be the same after COVID-19.
What's next for Favoresdesdecasa.com
It continues to test the usability of the platform, work on its attractive and friendly design, design its terms and conditions to ensure security and good use of the resource. Also disclose and "sell" your utility so that it reaches many people, for now in "Latinoamerica", and later in the world. We want to add the functionality that allows to evaluate both who helps and who is helped, to offer an incentive through social recognition of who helps and allow favors among people to serve as an example for others to be encouraged to help, furthermore that people can share their experience with the platform through their social networks. We also want people to be able to contact us if they can't find a suitable area or match to either help or be helped. Finally, in the long term, we want to evaluate the impact that this can generate indirectly to develop new skills, find employment, create networks, generate new work projects, in people who have offered their disinterested help and have discovered new talents and skills that they could offer to get remuneration or be referred by others in the future to hire their services.
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