Our friends at Trovebox are dedicating 33% to health

Trovebox enables you to keep all your photos in one place, beautifully ordered and preserved. Now, Trovebox is teaming up with Watsi to expand global access to healthcare. 

We’re thrilled to announce that as of this week, 33% of all Trovebox Pro accounts will fund medical treatments for people around the world.

Store your photos and spread the health right now by signing up for Trovebox!

Karmabox launches Watsi widget

Many of you have asked for this, and it’s finally here!

With Karmabox, anyone can embed a widget on their website to help fund medical treatments for people in need.

Get the Watsi widget.

We are blown away by people who donate their time and talents to create awesome things for Watsi. Thank you to our friends Manuel and Jenny for making this happen!

Add the Watsi widget to your website at karmabox.io

Volunteer Spotlight: Johanna, moonlighting for a cause!

What made you want to volunteer with Watsi?

Writing all of the things that I find compelling about Watsi would take up far too much space! So instead, I feel like an anecdote might sum it up better.

Not-so-far-back in the day, I studied abroad in Kenya and worked with a small organization dedicated to children with spina bifida and hydrocephalus. I spent a lot of time talking to medical providers, educators, and mothers and fathers of children with these disorders. As you may expect, early, cost effective intervention for these children is incredibly important and can completely alter the course of a child’s life. As I read about Watsi for the first time, I thought of the families and children that I know so well, and how relatively inexpensive treatment is for these life-altering disorders. Obviously, so many other disorders are like hydrocephalus and spina bifida in the enormous impact of cost-effective treatment. Watsi makes total sense in placing emphasis on effectiveness of treatment, and, to top it off, is transparent! I immediately wanted to be a part of it! Working with or donating to Watsi makes a tangible difference in the lives of people. That’s really what drew me to offer up my assistance to Watsi.

Where do you help us from?

I live in NYC and usually write profiles on my old laptop, cuddled up in bed with my dog. I work as a nurse for homeless adolescents and I’m in school full time to become a Family Nurse Practitioner, so profiles usually have to wait until after work, school, or clinical. Fortunately, writing at night puts my East Coast schedule on a similar time zone to Grace, out on the opposite side of the country!

What do you like about volunteering with Watsi?

I am obsessed with how “small world” Watsi is. First and foremost, people from (literally!) around the globe come together for one common cause. It is amazing to think about where donors and recipients live, and how distance and cultural differences can be completely transcended by both the internet and human generosity. In a less abstract sense, one of my friends from study abroad is now working with a Watsi medical partner halfway across the world - I saw her name on a raw-data profile and almost fell out of my chair with surprise!

Any particular patient stories that stand out in your mind? 

I wrote a profile for an older man named Baba who has been dealing with an incredibly common disorder called BPH (an enlarged prostate). Many of my patients here in New York have BPH, but it does not prevent them from living their lives. For Baba, his lifestyle was completely destroyed by this issue that is normally a relatively mild irritation in the US. In spite of all of this, his spirit and sense of humor completely shone through in his pictures and raw information from his providers. He seemed like someone that I had known forever. I was so inspired by his positive attitude that I donated to his treatment. I can’t wait to see the glee in his eyes when he no longer has to experience the stigma and pain of his current situation and can get back to his life. How awesome is that concept!?

Favorite quote or words to live by?

The idea that some lives matter less is the root of all that is wrong with the world. (Paul Farmer)

OR

Life is a grand adventure!

Do you have skills you want to lend to Watsi? Drop us a line at connect@watsi.org!

"It’s been really exciting for us to help amputees with the help of Watsi donors."

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Guest post by Dr. Peter Rohloff

Providing prosthetic limbs is a really straight forward, extraordinarily high impact thing. However, we would never have been able to do it without Watsi’s help, because the funds to purchase the prosthetics are just not in our budget.

The reasons for amputation and need for a prosthetic limb vary. 

Some are born without the arm - a congenital defect, and they grow up without ever having use of the limb. Pedro and Maria, for example, were both born without arms.

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Others are the victims of gang violence - their arms shot off or blown off, mostly innocent bystanders. Eliazar sustained serious injuries when a gang threw a grenade into his home.

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Still others lose their limbs while performing their jobs - electrical workers damaged by high voltage lines; farmers damaged by agricultural machinery. Mario lost his arm after an accident with a high voltage electricity line.

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We help them all.

By far the most amazing cases are the ones who are born without limbs. They surprise me every time by how intuitively and quickly they are using the arm, despite never having had an arm there to use before!

Last week I had the opportunity to help Pedro and Maria, two of the patients with congenital missing limbs. Check out the “action shots” of them using their new limbs below!

 
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Peter Rohloff directs medical programs at Wuqu’ Kawoq, a Watsi Medical Partner in Guatemala. Peter is a physician in the Department of Global Health and Social Medicine at Harvard Medical School. 

Grumo Media makes the most awesome little explainer videos ever, and they made this video for Watsi for free!

Grumo’s founder emailed us out of the blue last night with the video, adding simply, “keep up the good work!”

People are awesome.

You can check out more of Grumo’s work here

In the days after Watsi was featured in The New York Times, donors collectively funded more than $45,000 in medical care for 50 patients.

That’s more than our first three months combined!

Be part of the story —> http://bit.ly/ZsIuqh

"I decided to donate all of my tips to this little dude on Watsi. It’s not pretty, but it seems to be going well."

Awesome, meet new level.

Chris works as a barista. He sent us this photo showing how he decided to use his tips one day.

Thanks in part to Chris’ support, Brian is on his way to being fully funded!

Awesome limited edition YC poster —> proceeds to Watsi

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Alvy Brooks, in collaboration with Y Combinator, just released a limited edition YC poster, with 100% of the proceeds going to Watsi.

There are only 400 of these in existence, so grab yours ASAP!

Big thanks to Stripe for donating reduced payment processing fees and Exec for donating the fulfillment labor to make this happen.

Get in on the action: alvybrooks.com

We’re thrilled to welcome Paul Graham as Watsi’s first board member!

PG has been an incredible advisor and supporter to Watsi since inviting us to join Y Combinator earlier this year.

We’re excited to grow Watsi with his continued guidance.

You can read more about PG joining our board in TechCrunch and The Next Web.

Delivering Hope With Our New Partner, Watsi

My name is Cat Lockman, and my first trip to Africa was earlier this year in January. I visited Kenya, staying on-site at Lwala Community Alliance’s facility in the very rural North Kamagambo area, in Migori county. It wasn’t the first time in my professional role that I’d visited rural communities or local nonprofit groups, but it was definitely the most memorable for me – both personally and professionally. While there, I piloted the first steps of a new partnership with Watsi, a unique crowd-sourcing funding model.

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Piloting this program was one of the first projects in my new role at Lwala Community Alliance, where I serve as the Director of Partnerships and Communication. Keep in mind that most of my career time is spent in Washington D.C., New York and other places that people in the international development field gather to talk program design and impact evaluation. In this field of work, it’s how we know we’re doing a good job. 

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By contrast, in the village of Lwala, I spent a good deal of my time visiting local women in the community in their modest homes – like Alice’s home, pictured above in this photo behind her. Through those visits, women shared their perspectives on what program impact means to them as I gathered their personal stories to launch the Watsi program.

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First, I felt very odd and somewhat uncomfortable dropping in on women during really busy days without an invitation and asking them to talk about their personal stories. This felt a lot more personal than writing a needs assessment section on a proposal!

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I walked around the village and outlaying areas with one or two of Lwala’s community health workers. The local community is quite rural, about an hour from a main, paved road — and made up of small farms, dirt roads and paths. We’d approach a family’s home, call out a greeting, and pop right in to family courtyards busy with children and animals, food prep and dishwashing operations. Everyone was occupied with chores, and every single woman whom we approached stopped what she was doing to invite us in for a visit. Am I this welcoming in my own home to neighbors who stop by unannounced?

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With Lwala’s community health care workers translating, we explained the Watsi program. We wanted to feature profiles of local women enrolled in our maternal health program who were receiving home outreach visits during their pregnancy, and who planned to deliver their babies at Lwala’s community hospital. These are the core program elements of Lwala Community Alliance’s incredible program that’s helped over 90% of local women deliver babies with a skilled birth attendent — a big change in an area were that’s typically on 30-35%.

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Through conversation, women like Alice shared personal stories. She’s 33 and having her 4th baby. Monthly visits from Lwala’s community health care workers have helped her stay strong and positive. Our outreach workers have taught her about good nutrition and encouraged her to prioritize her own health so she it fit to care for herself and her family. They’ve motivated her to take time for the sometimes long walk to and waits for pre-natal appointments. And with visual aids and sometimes even videos (courtesy of donated iPads) – they’ve taught her about the health warning signs that mean she should immediately come to the hospital. Alice has a birth plan for her baby, and talked through the list of items she’s preparing for the birth of her child, and about her approach to saving small bits of money over the course of her pregnancy.

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Honestly, I was so touched by Alice and other women’s personal stories, that I felt too small to translate what they were telling me into the mental logic frames for program evaluation that I typically think in. I didn’t know how to rate “feels hopeful about the future” or “thinks dreams are possible”. I had no idea that was part of our maternal health program.

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The professional message I have to share is that Lwala Community Alliance is successfully wrapping up the Watsi pilot program, with plans underway to expand it. My personal message is that the gracious women I visited help me see impact in a different way. This quote touched my heart with compassion, and helped me appreciate the un-measurable impact of the maternal health program in Lwala: “They cared about me”.

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I won’t be setting aside my logic frames, but my passion for the work became much brighter. And I’m grateful for the gracious women who ignited my passion for the work of the Lwala Community Alliance team by kindly sharing their own stories with me. I feel very honored to help deliver more than babies — we’re delivering hope.