Solution: In Kyrgyzstan, 30.6 percent of the population lives below the poverty line (World Bank, 2014) and needs various help, starting with food, clothes and housing up to expensive surgeries.
Goals and objectives: The problem is not enough connection and trust between people in need and those who are able and willing to help them. To contribute to solving the problem, the Charity Public Foundation “Elim Barsynby?” launched an initiative called “A Good Penny.”
Implementation: Traditionally, most Kyrgyz families have money boxes to collect odd money (called pennies for the purpose of initiative) time from time and to spend later for small household expenses. The initiative mobilizes people to bring their money boxes to be organized events and give pennies to the poor.
To mobilize people and resources, the foundation implements the following steps:
- Dissemination of information about the event through social networks, such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and other social media (in each network’s page the foundation has tens of thousands subscribers);
- Social involvement of businesses such as video producers, commercial singers and shopping malls;
- To increase interest, video studios volunteer to produce dedicated social videos and photos. To encourage producers the video is marked with trademarks and information about volunteering for charity;
- In each video and photo, popular singers make advertising speeches and perform at the charity event for free;
- Negotiation with administration of shopping malls to give a space for the event for free.
Achievements: As a result of four charity events organized in Bishkek, the capital, and Talas region, the initiative has collected $16,876, which was distributed to people who need surgeries to be done in Kyrgyzstan.
The initiative has had an essential social impact:
- More than 2,000 families “invested” their money boxes for social support. Such contributions, apart from building the sense of social solidarity within the society, have an educational aspect for the young generation. It raises awareness of children about needs of the poor and motivates them to collect pennies/money for the poor. Children are awarded small prizes to acknowledge their contributions;
- 15 people received brain, heart, cataract and cancer surgeries and other treatments;
- Increased social responsibility of business: the shopping malls, which provided spaces for free, have their own special programs “Social events and responsibilities” with the initiative being part of it;
- New fund-raising and crowdfunding methods are introduced to contributors and beneficiaries.
Replication: The solution can be replicated in countries to help people in need through social mobilization. Budget: $6,000 for all expenses.
Partners: Ministry of Labour and Social Development of the Kyrgyz Republic, administrations of shopping centers "Bishkek Park" and “Vefa Center,” popular singers.
Charity Public Foundation “Elim Barsynby?”
Federov street 28, Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan
Contact person: Khabibulla Arzykulov, Director
Тел.: +996 312 89 86 22