Community organizing made easier | #speakup barometer | Kenya | DW | 10.01.2019
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#speakup barometer | Kenya

Community organizing made easier

For the people of the Obunga slums, an unexpected medical or funeral bill can be overwhelming. That’s when Elias steps in, with his innovative approach to community fundraising.

#speakup barometer Kenya

Elias Otieno is known for his crowdfunding efforts on WhatsApp and Safaricom's Mchanga platform.

At the heart of the Obunga slums community is problem solver Elias Otieno. Elias uses WhatsApp to mobilize his community members and friends whenever someone needs help, like a funeral or a medical bill. He is renowned for organizing friends and relatives through WhatsApp, creating groups around a particular issue and crowdfunding on Safaricom’s Mchanga platform for those in need. His vision though is to get everyone to sign up to health insurance.

I enjoy doing what I do thanks to the Internet and WhatsApp. We have helped many people raise funds to pay medical bills and funeral expenses. The only problem is that technology keeps changing and the government has also levied taxes on the Internet, making it expensive. For this reason, I am now using the same platform to encourage relatives and friends to subscribe to medical insurance that can cover medical bills.