Olamide Jasanya’s journey into the charity sector stemmed from the loss of his mother in December 2017…
“Givers never lack”, “We rise by lifting others” are common sayings people often use when they perform acts of kindness. In Nigeria, there are homes and orphanages for people in need. These homes are run with donations from kindhearted people or organisations, as acts of philanthropy. To give to these homes, donors mostly have to visit them personally or meet with a representative.
But, tech has permeated every area of our lives and the charity sector is no different. Charitable giving has undergone numerous changes over the recent past. Faced with an economic climate that sees people with less disposable income, innovation is becoming increasingly important for the success of charities.
Project GIIV, a non-governmental organization is using technology to make giving easy through the click of a button.
Finding purpose in loss
Olamide Jasanya‘s journey into the charity sector stemmed from the loss of his mother in December 2017. After his mother’s demise, Olamide and his all-male siblings discovered that they had a house full of clothes nobody could wear. Even the decision to give it out was hampered by the unavailability of time to follow through with the decision.
This led him to talk to his community where he discovered that it was not a problem peculiar to just his family. That was how the idea for ProjectGiiv was born.
ProjectGiiV is an initiative with an ambition to redefine the practice of charity amongst Africans leveraging technology and digital tools to make the process easy and rewarding for both donors and beneficiaries.
Operations officially kicked off in January 2020, which came after Olamide reached out to his tech-savvy friends to help make his idea tech-friendly. It was necessary to introduce tech into the project because according to Olamide, he wants to make giving as easy as ordering pizza.
Making giving as easy as ordering a pizza
It is not uncommon to hear about mismanagement when it comes to NGOs. Mitigating against corruption is necessary if NGOs are to achieve operational efficiency. For the lead volunteer Olamide, he opines that transparency and accountability are vital things that charity organizations must prioritize.
Project Giiv has a website and an app, Giiv through which donors can give items ranging from food to clothing to different homes listed on the platform.
Donors can drop off items in Project Giiv’s Yaba office or Ogudu, another one of their drop off points. However, the NGO also picks up items from any location across Lagos that donors indicate.
“We have put in place structures to ensure that there is accountability to a large extent. We have a list of everything donated for each donor. The receiving home of the items signs a certificate showing a list of what was delivered to them, which is then sent to the donor”.It is important to note that Project Giiv has a strict quality policy.
We are very heavy on quality. We do not want people to just donate anything because they want to declutter their spaces.Olamide Jasanya, founder and lead volunteer Project Giiv
What they do in this case is to painstakingly go through donated items and find the ones worthy of the homes they are going to be taken to. Donors will be informed if their items are deemed unworthy and are asked to come to pick them up. If within a week, the items are not picked up, Project Giiv disposes of the items.
Keeping the stream flowing
As a self-funded charity organization, it has its own share of challenges. One of the biggest is funding. Financial struggles are a reality for many nonprofits, even those with excellent programs. In a clime such as Nigeria, there is already mistrust as news is already riddled with tales of corruption across all sectors.
However, Olamide is positive that this will not be a problem for much longer as the project is gaining traction and the organization is also making moves to get well-meaning Nigerians to give to their cause.
In a drive for social change, the EndSars campaign received cryptocurrency donations from across the world. Olamide believes people are intrinsically good and so he wants to give everyone a chance to do good through ProjectGiiv.
Giving but not giving
Another challenge the organization encounters is people’s mentality towards giving. Some people give just anything without thought to those on the receiving end.
“Somebody that wants to collect what you have used is already a minus one. Do not make it harder by giving what is not worth it”.
There are 12 people who volunteer alongside Olamide, all of whom have their own regular 9-5 jobs, including Olamide who is a Marketing and Communications specialist in an insurance company. Olamide describes them as “fantastic professionals who dedicate their time to push the vision forward”.
However, there is a need for more hands as the charity organization is looking to expand to other states outside Lagos.
“We are constantly looking for people who have genuine Interest in giving back and sold out to the concept of doing good.”
Charities must recognise the potential for technological innovation in Africa to lead to social change. Project Giiv has taken the first step by making the act of giving easy and there are plans to further explore other areas of tech that can improve their work.
“It will be shortsighted of me to say we are not exploring crypto as it seems to be the future of finance. We are open to exploring other areas of tech”, he added.
Through monthly donations since inception, Project Giiv has onboarded over 100 donors online and offline and has delivered almost 3,000 items to at least 10 homes including Little Saints Orphanage, Hearts of Gold hospice and Compassionate Hearts.
“We are very delighted at what we have done but we know that there is a lot more to be done and we are ready for that.”
The ultimate ambition is to be the leading force that promotes the act of charitable giving in Africa, and the organization is confident of this vision because of the strategy to leverage technology heavily.