A powerful keynote by WhatsApp Head Will Cathcart and the presentation of 10 inspiring use cases ensured today’s inaugural Chat for Impact Demo Day 2021 was a significant success.
Powered by WhatsApp in partnership with Praekelt.org and Turn.io, the inaugural Chat for Impact Demo Day 2021 provided an opportunity for 10 social impact organizations to share their unique WhatsApp messaging service that were developed during the recent Chat for Impact Accelerator.
As part of the Accelerator, each organization was supported with mentorship, funding and technical guidance to fast-track the development of chat services that engage their communities - and scale their impact in advancing social justice and equality.
“The 2021 Chat for Impact Accelerator was created to support and accelerate the work that organisations are doing to provide vulnerable, disempowered and minority communities with easy and secure access to vital information and services – via WhatsApp,” comments Gustav Praekelt, co-founder of Turn.io.
“The presentations that were shared on Demo Day provided a powerful manifestation of this vision, as well as inspiration for the vital – and growing - role of chat in the work of social impact organizations all around the world.”
*View a full recording of the Chat for Impact Demo Day 2021 - https://youtu.be/q-GvENSPFsY
Here is an overview of each of the Chat for Impact Use Cases presented:
Based in South Africa, this Digital Skills training provider is bridging the digital divide in Africa. Its Meet Lesedi chat service is a personal WhatsApp learning coach that delivers essential digital skills leading to work opportunities for young people in Africa. Lesedi’s first phase is built around digital literacy content, which covers digital literacy basics and is being designed to link to a national training programme that is currently being planned. The chat service is being launched alongside the offline programme nationwide, with the aim of attracting 10 000 users in its first 6 weeks.
WhatsApp Service: Lesedi Chatbot +27 76 611 8409
Click to chat: https://wa.me27766118409
+27 (0) 65 614 1270
Ladysmith is a feminist research collective that co-developed Cosas de Mujeres with grassroot women’s organizations in Colombia to connect vulnerable women with services in the midst of migration and conflict. Now operating in three cities (Cúcuta, Cartagena and Bucaramanga) Cosas de Mujeres uses WhatsApp to build bridges between women and the services they need, while generating actionable data on gender-based violence. The Accelerator enabled the project to adapt and refine its online tools so that it can continue to support women's "offline" needs as well.
WhatsApp Service: Cosas de Mujeres +57 321 7820898
*No keyword needed, but please note the service is in Spanish.
Click to chat: https://wa.me/573217820898
Director of Field Operations and Ladysmith Senior Researcher
Mobile Pathways believes that immigrants deserve fair access to their rights so they can live a better life. To achieve this vision, it connects immigrants to advocates and services via trusted mobile technology. Developed during the Chat for Impact Accelerator, the WhatsApp-based chatbot “Abogada” will help immigrants navigate the immigration process from the early stages by informing them of their case details to ensure no court dates get missed. Immigrants will also be able to access actionable information crucial for their path to justice via a library of bite-sized and vetted informational videos made by immigration experts at Mobile Pathways.
WhatsApp Service: Hola Abogada: +1 (854) 400-0411
Click to chat: https://wa.me/18544000411
reach52 is a tech social enterprise delivering health services in markets others don't reach, across South and Southeast Asia as well as East Africa. Currently reach52’s networks of agents on the ground use “offline-first” mobile apps to engage, educate and provide services to users in the communities. But new solutions are needed to support the health of users in hard-to-reach regions on an ongoing basis. The reach52 access WhatsApp service puts “Accessible health services within your reach, wherever you live on earth”. Integrated with the reach52 access platform and community agents on the ground, it enables users to instantly get the health advice they need and order the screenings and health products delivered by each52 in their communities.
WhatsApp Service: Text ‘hi’ to +65 3159 5423
Click to chat: https://wa.me/6531595423
Mobile: +44 (0) 7827 943568
SameSame supports the mental health and resilience of LGBTQ+ youth as they navigate a time in their lives that has the potential to shape their entire future. Its team of writers, designers, clinicians, and software developers is leveraging the widespread popularity of WhatsApp to provide a safe, chat-based service for queer teens and young adults, in the face of misunderstanding, prejudice and discrimination. In each country, the SameSame team works with local queer creatives to create different brands that respond to the needs of their audience. During the Chat for Impact Accelerator, being able to access funding and expertise enabled the team to develop services for Indonesia and South Africa. In South Africa, the FanaFana bot serves LGBTQ+ teens and young adults who are in desperate need of information, inspiration and a sense of community in the face of misunderstanding, prejudice and discrimination.
WhatsApp Service: Fana Fana +27 600 140 000
Click to chat: https://wa.me/27600140000
A non-profit that treats depression in women and adolescents in low-income communities in sub-Saharan Africa, StrongMinds launched Amani, its WhatsApp chatbot, in Uganda and Zambia in 2020 - in response to the mental health crisis spurred by lockdowns and uncertainty surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic. The Chat for Impact Accelerator enabled StrongMinds to relaunch Amani with more content, self-assessments, improved dialogue flows, user-friendly backend support systems, and a more engaging, friendly persona. The team is also developing a long-term strategy to test, measure, and iterate the model and to ultimately roll-out Amani in additional African countries in the coming years.
Text ‘Hello’ to
Amani (Zambia) +260964635602
Amani (Uganda) +256323200666
Click to chat:
Amani Zambia - https://wa.me/260964635602?
Amani Uganda - https://wa.me/256323200666?
Dena Batrice, Director of Learning and Innovation
WhatsApp: +256 755 932032
Talk2U is a tech-based social startup that uses storytelling formats to create immersive conversations about challenging topics for youth that promote the development of socio-emotional skills, powered by AI. Being able to scale its impact through mainstream chat platforms such as WhatsApp is an opportunity for Talk2U to reach remote places at once with the same effective solution for behavior change. Participation in the Chat for Impact Accelerator allowed Talk2U to focus on a story around sex education and, in just three months, launch a powerful chat-story about consent, setting boundaries and healthy relationships targeted to young women in Brazil. Sharing the Sem Vergonha chatbot story on the WhatsApp service allows users to engage into a conversational narrative within a safe, private and controlled environment, and Talk2U to scale access to useful and high quality information.
WhatsApp Service: Paolla Santos, text ‘Oiii’ to +54 9 11 2404-8227
Click to chat: https://talk2u.co/paollasantos
Lucila Suarez Battan
Chief Experience Officer
+54 11 4088-2085
Voices of Venezuela is a Venezuelan- and Colombian-led media project that empowers Venezuelan migrants and builds community integration. The tools and knowledge from the Chat for Impact Accelerator is helping the organization scale well beyond its pilot with 21,000 migrant and refugee users in Colombia, creating a system that can be used to help millions in vulnerable groups across the Americas. Specifically, existing helpline users are now being given a big service upgrade through the Turn.io platform, to provide more tailored assistance and better user experiences. In addition, feedback systems can now be implemented to identify gaps in services and information through conversations with users.
WhatsApp Service: Text ‘Info’ to +5719171322
Click to chat: https://wa.link/26w9o7
WhatsApp# +55 48 991151585 \ +57 3505102371
Vote.org uses technology to simplify political engagement, increase voter turnout, and strengthen American democracy. Providing more resources for voters in multiple languages is a simple and cost-effective way to expand its work and help ensure that every American has the opportunity to participate in the country’s democracy. Vote.org’s bilingual WhatsApp bot allowed Vote.org to do that in an effective and scalable manner in 2020, which marked the first time that Latinx voters made up the largest racial and ethnic minority group in the electorate - over 13% of eligible voters. Participation in the Chat for Impact Accelerator is now enabling Vote.org to improve various elements of the chatbot, including updated information on election policies and deadlines to provide accurate guidance, as well as implementing best practices around user experience.
WhatsApp Service: Text ‘vote’ to 628-500-VOTE (628-500-8683)
Click to chat: https://wa.me/16285008683?text=vote
Chief Executive Officer
Worldreader is an international non-profit organization supporting vulnerable and underserved communities by providing digital reading solutions to improve literacy development, learning outcomes, and gender equality. The Chat for Impact Accelerator enabled Wolrdreader to focus on key aspects of its WhatsApp service, in order to drive engagement. This includes weekly Book Recommendations to teachers and parents of young children, enabling users to find a book of their choice from preferred categories and access to a Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) section, that provides support on how best to use the digital reading service.
WhatsApp Service: Booksmart - text ‘join’ to +1 (650) 934-1407
Click to chat: https://wa.me/16509341407?text=join
Rebecca Chandler Leege
Chief Impact Officer