New online donation platform looks to bring the KampungSpirit back, with help from social workers

2 weeks ago 60

SINGAPORE - A new online donation platform has been set up to raise money for items requested by social workers on behalf of households. Through it, its developers hope to simplify the process of getting essential goods and services directly to those who need them.

Since its launch about two weeks ago on Jan 24, KampungSpirit has raised $4,515 from 86 donors. The money was used to fulfil 17 requests for brand-new items such as a wheelchair, washing machines and adult diapers.

The platform is helmed by Open Government Products (OGP), an independent division of GovTech that builds technology for the public good.

OGP’s senior product manager Jan Donyada said KampungSpirit’s model relies on social workers, who work closely with households under their care, to raise the public’s attention to specific needs in the community.

Social workers know the context behind their cases best, he said.

“They are the ones who write the stories behind each listing so that donors know the importance of each item requested, and how their donation can impact and improve the quality of life of the people receiving them.”

Mr Jan noted it is easier for single-item requests to be funded, compared with large donation campaigns. The platform also calls for donations for handyman services, as well as decluttering and cleaning services.

Its most expensive listing – a 10.5kg-capacity washing machine that cost $488 – took two days to be funded, while a request for a tablet for two children with autism took just two hours to be fulfilled.

While the tablet cost only $120, generous donors contributed $325. The excess amount will be directed to a similar request, said Mr Jan.

The Foundation of Rotary Clubs Singapore Family Service Centre (FRCS FSC), which serves communities in Clementi and West Coast, is one of the first social services agencies to use KampungSpirit.

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