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  • Rebecca Kachmar

BridgeAId: a positive outlook on a global crisis



In developing countries, where governments do not always address people’s needs in times of crisis, local NGOs act as critical stakeholders to help people in need

Possibly one of the few upsides to a global pandemic would be the innovative solutions that the best and brightest come up with. Amongst those are the ambitious inventors of BridgeAId, a platform meant to fill in one of the major gaps in tackling this crisis: protecting the most vulnerable populations.

Participating in the MIT COVID19 Challenge "Beat the Pandemic" hackathon, Thea Badaro, Yasmina Richa and Chloe Avedissian, three young Lebanese students and childhood friends, joined forces to take on the challenge and came up with the idea behind BridgeAId. Once their initiative pitched, they expanded their team with diverse participants whose skills and experience perfectly complemented each other, and apace, started to take significant steps to set their platform in motion. 


What is BridgeAID?


BridgeAId is a centralized program storing information on all local, registered NGOs that provide crucial services to the most vulnerable during this pandemic. Users of the platform can find the nearest NGOs to them, their respective locations, contact details and needs, and donate money in one click. Simple, yet extremely effective.


Why should you use it?


In these times of chaos, especially in developing countries such as Lebanon, needs highly exceed resources. That's when the importance of local NGOs comes in; they work to quickly meet emergency requirements when no one else can. 

When conducting a survey of 350 participants in over 30 different countries, we found that an overwhelming number of people were willing to help, but didn’t know how

If you have been feeling powerless in the midst of this pandemic and want to support your community, but have no clue where to start, BridgeAId would be the place to go. The application’s main focus right now is to register and shed light on NGOs that are actively setting initiatives to fulfill urgent needs in this crisis. The whole point of the platform is to create a bridge between those who desperately want to help and those who desperately need help. 


When can you use it?


Right now! Since winning the MIT challenge, the team took active steps towards launching the application as soon as possible. To do so, they created a website that potential NGOs and donors can check out to download and register to the platform, or to find more details on the team, their backgrounds and their plans. After testing the first prototype version of their application, it is now up and running in both Boston and Lebanon!


What’s next?


This is just the very beginning for these driven innovators. In the long run, BridgeAId plans on expanding their reach to all types of NGOs, allowing users to help out and donate based on needs, proximity and interests. They also strive to continuously improve their platform by conducting surveys to better understand the cracks in connecting donors and NGOs. Based on that, they will work on a product road map and progressively add new features to their application. They also plan on expanding their reach to new NGOs and territories.

We plan on hopefully launching the application in Montreal, Paris, and Tunis

All in all, BridgeAId will not only be a great asset in battling this crisis, but in all other ongoing or future crises and causes. Make sure to check out their website and Instagram page for all future updates! 


Contact Information 


For more information, feel free to contact the team at bridgeaid.app@gmail.com.

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