What do a Kenyan mother of four, a Cambodian grandfather and an eight-year-old Tanzanian boy have in common?

Each is having their treatment funded, and their life changed, on Watsi.

Watsi describes itself as “a global crowdfunding platform that enables anyone to donate as little as $5 to directly fund life-changing healthcare for people around the world.” By using the crowdfunding model to fund healthcare for those in need, Watsi allows people around the world to change the lives of individuals.

The operations funded by Watsi tend to be one-time operations with relatively high rates of success. Procedures range from repairing 63-year-old Alice’s ankle fracture to treating four-year-old Veronica’s hydrocephalus. Each of these procedures brings crowdfunded healthcare to the developing world.

Along with supporters for individual patients, Watsi has attracted many major supporters toward its general goal. Rotten Tomatoes CEO Joe Greenstein, Kholsa Ventures co-founder Vinod Kholsa and many others have supported the goal of crowdfunding the healthcare of the global poor. Changing lives through funding health, it seems, is a goal that unites both large-scale funders and the various microfinancers who have decided to assist patients through funding.

In addition to providing a platform where people can change lives for as little as $5, Watsi is also devoted to transparency, distancing itself from the criticisms that other micro-lending platforms often face. In an interview with The New York Times, Watsi founder Chase Adam described transparency as benefiting both donors and the organization, claiming that “by being transparent, we’re actually crowdsourcing a lot of our work.” The organization describes itself as “radically transparent” and provides access to a Google document on its website, which displays financial data, details on individual patients and partners, and various other pieces of information that give crowdsourcers background on the platform. In the Internet age, where skepticism reigns supreme, this is an important step for nonprofits.

The power to crowdfund healthcare around the world is an amazing reality in the technological age. It creates a personal connection between charitable individuals and the poor and sick, and changes live for those without a voice on the global stage. Additionally, it puts a face to the many lives changed by global charity. By taking advantage of the crowdfunding model to promote healthcare, Watsi both innovates and changes lives, allowing the platform to become a new and powerful voice for the global poor.

– Haley Luce

Sources: Watsi 1, Watsi 2, Watsi 3, New York Times, Tech Crunch
Photo: CrunchBase